ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-652

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Route reference: 2011-336

Ottawa, 18 October 2011

Cortes Community Radio Society
Cortes Island, British Columbia

Application 2011-0470-3, received 11 March 2011
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
18 July 2011

English-language community FM radio station in Cortes Island

The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language community FM radio station in Cortes Island, British Columbia.

The application

1.      The Commission received an application by Cortes Community Radio Society (CCRS) for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Cortes Island, British Columbia. The Commission received an intervention in support of the application from the National Campus and Community Radio Association.

2.      CCRS is a not-for-profit corporation controlled by its board of directors.

3.      In Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010 (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499), the Commission announced a number of changes to the regulatory framework for campus and community radio stations. CCRS confirmed that it would adhere to the revised policy.

4.      The station would operate on frequency 89.5 MHz (channel 208A1) with an effective radiated power of 80 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height above average terrain of 104.3 metres).[1]

5.      The applicant indicated that the station would broadcast 126 hours of programming during each broadcast week, including 106 hours of station-produced programming and a maximum of 20 hours of acquired programming from other community and campus stations. Spoken word programming would consist of news, as well as educational programming and programming concerning local politics, public issues requiring community involvement, weather, local emergencies and social events.

6.      The station’s musical programming would be drawn from a range of content from categories 2 (Popular Music) and 3 (Special Interest Music), including specialty music programs. The applicant indicated that it would be prepared to accept a condition of licence requiring it to devote no less than 40% of its musical selections from content category 2 in each broadcast week to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.

7.      With respect to the promotion of Canadian local talent, the applicant stated that it would work with local organizations to develop broadcast features that could be scheduled on the station and promoted to listeners. Additionally, CCRS would promote emerging Canadian talent through its local programming initiatives by showcasing the music of emerging artists and interviewing them, as well as through the creation of artistic productions such as radio plays written and performed by local community volunteers.  

8.      The applicant stated that volunteers would play an important role in the operation of the station, including hosting music shows and spoken word programs, delivering news and creating features and radio productions. CCRS stated that given that it would have between 35 and 100 permanent volunteers operating the station all year long, it would place great emphasis on the training of volunteers by allowing them to attend professional conferences and providing them with continuous training opportunities.

Commission’s analysis and decision

9.      The Commission expects community-based radio stations to provide programming differing in style and substance from that provided by other elements of the broadcasting system, particularly commercial radio stations and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Such programming should consist of music, especially Canadian music, not generally heard on commercial stations (including special interest music, as well as styles of popular music seldom broadcast), in-depth spoken word programming and programming targeted to specific groups within the community. Additionally, the Commission expects volunteer involvement in station operations and programming.

10.  The Commission is satisfied that the application is consistent with the provisions for community radio stations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Cortes Community Radio Society for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Cortes Island, British Columbia. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.

Secretary General

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-652

Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement


Issuance of the broadcasting licence to operate an English-language FM community radio programming undertaking in Cortes Island, British Columbia

The licence will expire 31 August 2018.

The station will operate on frequency 89.5 MHz (channel 208A1) with an average effective radiated power of 80 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 104.3 metres).

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 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.

Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant 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 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 18 October 2013. 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.

In order to ensure that the applicant is in compliance at all times with the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of non-Canadians), the Commission requires the applicant to file a copy of its amended and executed by-laws within 12 months of the date of this decision.

Conditions of licence

1.      The licence will be subject to the conditions set out in New licence form for community radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 2000-157, 16 November 2000, with the exception of conditions of licence 1 and 9.

2.      The licensee shall adhere to the Equitable Portrayal Code, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.

3.      During each broadcast week, the licensee shall devote at least 15% of its programming to content category 1 (Spoken Word), as defined in Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Public Notice CRTC 2000-14, 28 January 2000, as amended from time to time. All of this spoken word programming shall be locally produced (that is, produced by or exclusively for the licensee).

4.      As an exception to section 2.2(8) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, the licensee shall devote no less than 40% of its musical selections from content category 2 (Popular Music) in each broadcast week to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.


Filing of ownership information

The Commission expects all community and campus licensees to file yearly updates on the composition of their boards of directors. These annual updates can be submitted at the time of submission of annual returns, following annual board of directors’ elections or at any other time. Licensees may submit such documentation via the Commission’s website.


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.


[1] These technical parameters reflect those approved by the Department of Industry.

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