ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-405

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-405

  Ottawa, 8 September 2004
  V.R. Garbutt, on behalf of a not for profit corporation to be incorporated
Renfrew, Ontario
  Application 2003-1394-0
Public Hearing in the National Capital Region
7 June 2004

Community radio station in Renfrew

  The Commission approves the application by V.R. Garbutt, on behalf of a not for profit corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language FM Type B community radio station in Renfrew, Ontario.

The application


The Commission received an application by V.R. Garbutt, on behalf of a not for profit corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language FM Type B community radio programming undertaking in Renfrew, Ontario. The proposed station would operate at 98.7 MHz (channel 254B) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 14,000 watts.


The applicant indicated that the station would broadcast 109 hours of programming in each broadcast week, and that all of the programming would be locally-produced. The station would offer primarily "Heritage" Country and Easy Listening music reflecting the musical heritage of the Ottawa Valley. The applicant further indicated that it planned to program up to a 51% level of Canadian category 2 (General Music) musical selections, which significantly exceeds the 35% minimum level required by the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations).


According to the applicant, the station's local programming would reflect the needs and interests of the local community and would include local and regional news, sports, weather, current events, agriculture, related surveillance and emergency broadcast services.


The applicant stated that local Ottawa Valley radio stations as well as the Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production would assist in the training of volunteers, and that volunteers would be supervised by parties who have numerous years of broadcast experience.


The applicant further proposed to broadcast a locally-produced live showcase and interviews to promote local and other Canadian musical artists, and to participate in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame's national annual competition by holding qualifying sessions in the Ottawa Valley.



The Commission received 21 interventions in connection with this application, 19 of which expressed support. Two interventions commenting on the application were submitted, one by La Radio du Pontiac Inc. (La Radio du Pontiac), licensee of CHIP-FM, and one by Jon Pole, President of my broadcasting corporation (MBC). Two petitions bearing a total of 821 signatures were also filed in support of the application.
Intervention from La Radio du Pontiac


La Radio du Pontiac neither supported nor opposed the application. La Radio du Pontiac noted that the applicant had proposed to offer "Heritage" Country music, which is the current format of CHIP-FM. The intervener maintained that a Type B community station should add diversity to the market and submitted that the format proposed by the applicant seemed to be a mirror of CHIP-FM's programming. La Radio du Pontiac also submitted that the applicant's projected level of local advertising sales seemed unachievable. As for fundraising, the intervener stated that, since Mr. Garbutt is a former member of CHIP-FM, his proposed fundraising efforts have been modelled on those of CHIP-FM. La Radio du Pontiac asked the Commission to consider the impact that this additional fundraising would have on CHIP-FM and on other not for profit groups.
The applicant's reply to the intervention by La Radio du Pontiac


In response to the concerns raised by La Radio du Pontiac, the applicant argued that CHIP-FM played many types of music in addition to Heritage Country. The applicant stated that CHIP-FM broadcasts daily in French and, during that time, program hosts play a mixture of Rock, Rap, Reggae, New Country, Pop, Disco, etc. From 4:00 PM onwards, Mr. Garbutt maintained that a minimal amount of what is considered Classic Country is played on CHIP-FM, along with a mixture of 70's-80's Rock, Rock and Roll and some local music. The applicant considered that the format of the proposed station would be different and would complement radio programming that is already available in the Ottawa Valley. With regard to local advertising sales, the applicant noted that he had already been approached by many businesses and organizations that wished to advertise on the proposed station. The applicant expressed confidence that, with the arrival of the proposed radio station, which would have a strong community orientation, local not for profit groups would benefit immensely by having access to the airwaves at all times of the day.
Intervention from MBC


In English-language FM Radio Station at Renfrew, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-147, 16 April 2004, the Commission awarded a broadcasting licence to Jon Pole & Andrew Dickson, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, to carry on a new English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Renfrew. The corporation has now been incorporated as MBC. In its intervention, MBC indicated that it neither opposed nor supported the application by Mr. Garbutt. However, the intervener suggested that the Commission examine the similarities and differences in programming between the proposed station and stations that the Commission has already approved to ensure that the proposed station would provide diversity and a programming alternative. The intervener also suggested that the Commission closely examine the feasibility of the applicant's proposal since half of the projected operating revenue would come from local advertising.


The intervener also submitted that the "Heritage" format of the proposed station was rather vague and suggested that the Commission impose a condition of licence requiring that at least 51% of musical selections played be Canadian, as suggested by the applicant.
The applicant's reply to the intervention by MBC


In response to the intervention by MBC, Mr. Garbutt submitted that the format of the proposed station would be unique and would represent a viable alternative to what is presently available in the Ottawa Valley. The applicant further noted that the programming of its proposed station would include regularly-scheduled, locally-produced forestry, agricultural, seniors, ethnic, educational and municipal government programs.


The applicant maintained that the format of the proposed station would not be similar to that of the station that would be operated by MBC.


Mr. Garbutt indicated that he has advertisers waiting to support the new radio station and was of the view that these advertisers, together with a normal advertising/sales campaign, would guarantee the viability of the proposed station.


The applicant did not foresee any difficulties in broadcasting a 51% level of Canadian music. In fact, he considered that, if some potential sources of Canadian music became available as expected, 51% might be a low estimate of the level of Canadian music that would be broadcast.

The Commission's analysis and determination


The Commission has considered this application in light of the provisions of the Regulations and the Community Radio Policy, Public Notice CRTC 2000-13, 28 January 2000 (the Community Radio Policy). In its evaluation of this application, the Commission has also carefully considered the views of the applicant and of the interveners.


The Commission considers that the application complies with all aspects of the Regulations and the Community Radio Policy.


With respect to La Radio du Pontiac's concern that the projected local advertising sales revenues might not be achievable, the Commission notes that the population of Renfrew (Census Agglomeration) is about 7,942 (2001 Census) and considers that the applicant's business plan for a community radio station is reasonable and consistent with the size of the Renfrew market.


With respect to MBC's recommendation that a condition of licence be imposed that would require that at least 51% of musical selections played be Canadian, the Commission considers that it is not necessary, in this case, to impose a condition of licence that sets a requirement that exceeds the levels established by the Community Radio Policy and required by the Regulations. The Commission notes, however, that the applicant plans to program a level of Canadian category 2 musical selection of up to 51%.


In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by V.R. Garbutt, on behalf of a not for profit corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language FM type B community radio programming undertaking in Renfrew, Ontario at 98.7 MHz (channel 254B) with an ERP of 14,000 watts.


The licence will expire 31 August 2011 and will be subject to the conditions set out in New licence form for community radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 2000-157, 16 November 2000.

Issuance of the licence


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


The Commission reminds the applicant that, pursuant to subsection 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.


Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant has:
  • satisfied the Commission, with supporting documentation, that an eligible Canadian corporation has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects, and
  • 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 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 8 September 2006. 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.

Employment equity


The Commission considers that community radio stations should be particularly sensitive to employment equity issues in order to reflect fully the communities they serve. It encourages the licensee to consider these issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
  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: 

Date Modified: 2004-09-08

Date modified: