ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-81

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-81

Ottawa, 28 February 2003

Radio Témiscamingue incorporée
Ville-Marie and Témiscaming, Quebec

Application 2002-0833-1
Public Hearing at Montréal, Quebec
3 February 2003

CKVM Ville-Marie - Conversion to FM band


The Commission approves the application by Radio Témiscamingue incorporée (Radio Témiscamingue) for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language FM radio programming undertaking in Ville-Marie that would replace AM station CKVM, and to continue operating the CKVM-1-FM Témiscaming transmitter in order to carry the programming of the new FM station.


The new station will offer a Pop Adult music format. It will broadcast a total of 126 hours per week, and the station will produce approximately 122 hours of the programming. The programming will include local and regional newscasts and a weekly public affairs show. The station's hosts will conduct interviews about cultural, social and economic events and will offer special programming segments, as well as community information.


The station will operate in Ville-Marie at 93.1 MHz (channel 226B) with an effective radiated power of 18,400 watts1, and the transmitter in Témiscaming will operate at 92.1 MHz (channel 221LP) with an effective radiated power of 10 watts. The station will operate in a single-station market as defined in Local programming policy for FM radio - Definition of a single-station market, Public Notice CRTC 1993-121, 17 August 1993.


The Commission notes that in Short-term licence renewal for CKVM and its transmitter CKVM-1-FM - issuance of a mandatory order, Decision CRTC 2001-679, 7 November 2001 (Decision 2001-679), it renewed the licensee's licence for a short period because of the strong concerns raised in that decision. One of those concerns was the repeated failure by Radio Témiscamingue to comply with the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations). The decision was accompanied by Mandatory Order 2001-2 requiring the licensee to comply at all times with the provisions of the Regulations dealing with logger tapes.


Considering its track record, the licensee is required, by condition of licence, to submit to the Commission, every three months or until otherwise advised in writing by the Commission, a self-assessment of the programming broadcast over a given week, which will be determined by the Commission, as proof of its compliance with the Regulations, the Commission's policies and the conditions of its licence, and demonstrating, in particular, that it has complied with the requirements of section 8 of the Regulations concerning logger tapes during this three-month period. The Commission reminds the licensee that it must conform to the requirements of the Regulations at all times.


The licensee has accepted, as a condition of licence, to participate in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) plan to promote Canadian artists, which represents yearly contributions of $400 for the Ville-Marie market.


The licensee is authorized, by condition of licence, to simulcast the programming of the new FM station on CKVM for a transition period of six months following the commencement of operations of the FM station.


The licence will expire on 31 August 2007. It will be subject to the conditions set out in this decision and in New licence form for commercial radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 1999-137, 24 August 1999, with the exception of condition of licence no. 9, relating to the solicitation of local advertising. That condition does not apply to stations operating in a single-station market.


In accordance with Implementation of an employment equity policy, Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, 1 September 1992, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.



The Commission received one intervention from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) regarding this application. While it did not oppose the application, the CBC wished to clarify certain facts regarding the proposed programming of Radio Témiscamingue.


In its application, the applicant stated that it plans to be affiliated with the CBC's French-language radio network for its national and international newscasts and for four hours of programming to be broadcast from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. In its intervention, the CBC said that as a result of New transmitter in Ville-Marie, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-445, 13 December 2002, which authorizes the CBC to operate a transmitter in Ville-Marie, it has no intention of allowing the new FM station proposed by Radio Témiscamingue to be affiliated with its French-language radio network.


The CBC stated that the offer of assistance it made to Radio Témiscamingue in the context of this application did not include the delivery of programs or the provision of newscasts from its regular radio service. The CBC is willing, however, to provide the new station with the Info Plus service at the rate of five 90-second newscasts per day.


The applicant did not respond to the CBC's intervention.

The Commission's decision


In view of the intervention by the CBC, the Commission will only issue the licence once Radio Témiscamingue has submitted a report stating how it plans to replace the CBC programming referred to in its application. This information must be provided to the Commission within three months following the date of this decision.

Technical issues


Radio Témiscamingue submitted this application to resolve a technical conflict that dates back to 1998. In March 1998, an analysis of CKVM's technical parameters by the Department of Industry (the Department) showed that the operation of the station might cause interference at night with WOR New York and other stations.


In the fall of 1998, Radio Témiscamingue looked at various technical options in order to resolve this problem, such as adding two directional broadcasting towers and moving to the FM band. In August 2001, the applicant applied for an amendment to its licence that would change the technical parameters for nighttime operation from directional mode to omnidirectional mode. The WOR station submitted an objection to the application to the Department. Faced with the prospect of interference and taking international rules into account, the Department rejected the applicant's application. The Department also noted the tests conducted by the station for changing its technical parameters using 10 kW of power in omnidirectional mode both day and night. Those tests were also fruitless because WOR complained to the Department again about on-air interference.


In Decision 2001-679, the Commission stated the following with regard to the dialogue between the Commission and the representative from Radio Témiscamingue at the public hearing of 19 June 2001 in the National Capital Region:

At the hearing, the station's general manager stated that she had held that position for only a short time, and had only recently been made aware that the licensee was in contravention of section 22 of the Broadcasting Act, when its broadcasting certificate was not renewed by Industry Canada. The Commission informed the licensee, after discussion of that matter, that the Department of Industry, and not the Commission, was responsible for issuing broadcasting certificates. The licensee indicated that it had engaged an engineer to find a solution to technical problems relating to its application, and that it would submit a report to the Department of Industry addressing the conclusions reached in the engineer's study. The Commission reiterates that it will only renew the licence when the Department of Industry indicates that the application is technically acceptable and that it will issue a broadcasting certificate.


In a letter to Radio Témiscamingue, dated 20 December 2001, the Department stated that because of the many technical anomalies in recent years and in the absence of additional proof of satisfactory performance, it was unable to recommend that CKVM's technical certificate be renewed. The Department also pointed out to the licensee that operating a broadcasting undertaking without a valid technical certificate was an offence under section 4(1) of the Radiocommunication Act and informed the licensee of the possible consequences of failing to comply with that section.


On 4 April and 12 July 2002, the Commission reminded the licensee again that operating its station without a valid broadcasting certificate was an offence under section 22 of the Broadcasting Act and asked the licensee to submit tangible measures for rectifying the situation. The Commission stated that if the licensee failed to meet that requirement, the Commission would not be able to consider an application for renewal of CKVM's licence and Radio Témiscamingue would then have to cease operating the station owing to the lack of a valid broadcasting licence and technical certificate.


Finally, on 7 August 2002, Radio Témiscamingue notified the Commission of its intention to proceed immediately with the conversion of CKVM to the FM band in order to resolve its issue of technical non-compliance. On 3 October 2002, the Commission received the application for that conversion.

The Commission's analysis and decision


Section 22 of the Broadcasting Act states:

(1) No licence shall be issued, amended or renewed under this Part [.] unless the Minister of Industry certifies to the Commission that the applicant for the issue, amendment or renewal of the licence has satisfied the requirements of the Radiocommunication Act and the regulations made under that Act, and has been or will be issued a broadcasting certificate with respect to the radio apparatus that the applicant would be entitled to operate under the licence.

(4) Any licence issued, amended or renewed in contravention of this section is of no force or effect.


The Commission concludes from this that Radio Témiscamingue is currently operating radio station CKVM without a valid broadcasting licence. This is an offence under section 32(1) of the Broadcasting Act, which states, "Every person who, not being exempt from the requirement to hold a licence, carries on a broadcasting undertaking without a licence therefor is guilty of an offence."


In approving the application to move CKVM to the FM band, the Commission considered Radio Témiscamingue's unsuccessful attempts to find other technical solutions to the station's interference problems. The Commission also considered the fact that Radio Témiscamingue has for 52 years been the only local radio service in Ville-Marie and that the proposed technical solution would enable it to continue serving the people of Ville-Marie and at the same time meet the requirements of the Broadcasting Act and the Radiocommunication Act.


The Department has advised the Commission that, while this application is conditionally technically acceptable, it will only issue a broadcasting certificate when it has been determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.


The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.


Since it is imperative that Radio Témiscamingue straighten this situation out as quickly as possible, the Commission gives the applicant nine months from the date of this decision to begin operating the new FM station in Ville-Marie instead of the usual period of 24 months. Consequently, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the licensee has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than nine months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 28 November 2003. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.

Secretary General

This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site:
1 The proposed station's effective radiated power will be 18,400 watts and not 26,000 watts as was stated in Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2002-13, 27 November 2002.

Date Modified: 2003-02-28

Date modified: