ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-584
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Route reference: 2012-224
Additional reference: 2012-224-1
Ottawa, 22 October 2012
Radio 1540 Limited
Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec
Application 2012-0032-8, received 25 January 2012
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
19 June 2012
CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau – Licence renewal
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the ethnic radio station CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau from 1 December 2012 to 31 August 2017. This short-term renewal will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 and its conditions of licence.
1. The Commission received an application by Radio 1540 Limited (Radio 1540) to renew the broadcasting licence for the ethnic FM radio programming undertaking CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau. The licence expires 30 November 2012.1 The Commission received several interventions in support of this application.
2. The Commission notes that in Broadcasting Decision 2009-133, Radio 1540 was granted a short-term licence renewal, from 1 April 2009 to 31 August 2012, due to non-compliance with its conditions of licence relating to Canadian content development (CCD) contributions.
3. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2012-224, the Commission noted that the licensee may have failed to comply with section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), in regard to contributions to CCD for the 2008-2009 through 2010-2011 broadcast years. The Commission notes, however, upon further review, that this apparent non-compliance regarding CCD contributions relates not to the requirements set out in section 15 of the Regulations, but to the station’s conditions of licence 7 and 8, set out in the appendix to Broadcasting Decision 2009-133.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
4. After examining the public record for this application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues it must address relate to the following:
- the licensee’s compliance with CJLL-FM’s condition of licence relating to CCD payments to the University of Ottawa and to Carleton University;
- the licensee’s compliance with CJLL-FM’s condition of licence relating to CCD payments to CKCU-FM Ottawa and CHUO-FM Ottawa; and
- the licensee’s compliance with section 9(2) of the Regulations, relating to the filing of annual returns.
Compliance with the condition of licence relating to Canadian content development payments to the University of Ottawa and to Carleton University
5. Radio 1540’s condition of licence 8 requires that it make contributions for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 broadcast years to a variety of initiatives, including scholarships in the amount of $3,750 for students at Carleton University and $1,250 to a student at the University of Ottawa. The Commission notes that the licensee failed to provide proof that those contributions were used in an eligible manner. Further, it failed to provide a copy of the cancelled cheque required to demonstrate proof of payment to the University of Ottawa for the 2008-2009 broadcast year.
6. When asked about the apparent non-compliance, Radio 1540 submitted that the Commission itself established these initiatives as eligible to fulfill its required annual CCD contributions over the term of the licence. It also stated that the funds were sent to both universities within each broadcast year and that these universities disbursed the funds as scholarships to their recipients. In this regard, the licensee submitted letters from Carleton University and from the University of Ottawa confirming that for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 broadcast years, the funds provided by the licensee were in fact disbursed as scholarships.
7. In regard to the payment to the University of Ottawa, Radio 1540 explained that it had made its contribution in August 2009 but that the university only cashed the cheque the following November. Further, it submitted that it had received the proof of payment only in late 2009, after its annual returns had been submitted. As part of this proceeding, the licensee provided a copy of the cancelled cheque to the Commission.
8. In light of the above, the Commission finds that the contributions to Carleton University and the University of Ottawa were made in accordance with the above-noted condition of licence 8 and within the required broadcast years. Accordingly, the Commission finds the licensee in compliance with that condition of licence.
Compliance with the condition of licence relating to Canadian content development payments to CKCU-FM and CHUO-FM
9. Radio 1540 is also subject to the following condition of licence:
7. The licensee shall allocate $5,000 per year to assist in ethnic program development and in training ethnic broadcasters at the Ottawa/Gatineau campus radio stations CKCU-FM and CHUO-FM. Each of the two stations shall receive $2,500 per year.
10. In a letter dated 28 March 2012, the Commission advised the licensee that for the 2008-2009 through 2010-2011 broadcast years, it did not receive the necessary documentation to establish how the contributions to CKCU-FM and CHUO-FM were spent and whether they were spent in accordance with the above-noted condition of licence.
11. In response, the licensee admitted that it should have provided the required proof on time with its annual return. It also filed letters from CKCU-FM and CHUO-FM acknowledging receipt of the funds and detailing how the funds had been used in the above-noted broadcast years.
12. In light of the information provided, the Commission finds that the contributions to CKCU-FM and CHUO-FM were spent in a manner consistent with the above-noted condition of licence and, therefore, that the licensee is in compliance with that condition of licence. The Commission notes that it will continue to require the licensee to adhere to that condition of licence. In addition, the Commission reminds the licensee that proof of payment and of eligibility of CCD contributions must accompany the licensee’s annual returns, as set out in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-795.
Compliance with section 9(2) of the Regulations, relating to the filing of annual returns
13. The Commission notes that the failure of a licensee to provide the necessary supporting documentation as part of its annual returns may constitute non-compliance with section 9(2) of the Regulations, which requires licensees to file complete annual returns by 30 November for the broadcast year ending the previous 31 August. Further, licensees are required to file, with their annual returns, proof of payment and eligibility of CCD initiatives.
14. In the present case, Radio 1540 acknowledged that proof of eligibility of the contributions to CKCU-FM and CHUO-FM was not filed as required with the annual returns for the 2008-2009 through 2010-2011 broadcast years. Accordingly, the Commission finds the licensee to be in non-compliance with section 9(2) of the Regulations.
15. In order to ensure compliance with its obligations going forward, Radio 1540 proposed to strengthen its internal administrative procedures relating to CCD contributions by implementing three new measures:
a) The licensee will encourage recipients of CCD funds to process the cheques on an expeditious basis, and will note any failure to do so in the annual returns with a promise to forward the necessary supporting documentation as soon as it is available.
b) The licensee will provide training to all staff involved in the preparation of the annual returns concerning the Commission’s requirements.
c) The licensee will establish a CCD Compliance Review Committee, under the direction of the Vice President and General Manager, which will be responsible for implementing and reviewing the implementation of the other two measures.
16. The Commission reminds Radio 1540 of its responsibility to ensure that CCD payments are made within the required broadcast year, and that the required proof of payment and documentation to demonstrate the eligibility of an initiative are provided with the licensee’s annual returns by 30 November each year.
17. Nevertheless, the Commission notes the licensee’s reliance on third parties for some of this information and considers its proposals to be sufficient to ensure compliance going forward. In particular, the Commission considers the licensee’s proposal to inform the Commission, at the time of filing its annual returns, if a particular contribution has not been cashed by the recipient, together with its proposal to provide the required proof as soon as it is available, to constitute an acceptable alternative when the required documentation is not immediately available, provided the licensee can ultimately demonstrate that the payment was actually made within the required broadcast year.
18. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach to dealing with radio stations found to be in non-compliance. The Commission noted in particular that each instance of non-compliance will be evaluated in light of factors such as the quantity, recurrence and seriousness of the non-compliance. The Commission also noted that it will consider the circumstances leading to the non-compliance in question, the licensee’s arguments, and the measures taken to rectify the situation.
19. The Commission considers that the licensee, based on its responses and reactions to the Commission’s concerns, has demonstrated that it takes its responsibilities as a broadcasting licensee seriously. Further, it is the Commission’s view that Radio 1540’s proposed measures will help to ensure ongoing compliance.
20. However, this is the second consecutive licence term in which Radio 1540 has been found to be in non-compliance. In accordance with its revised practice regarding radio non-compliance set out in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission considers that a short-term renewal period of five years would be appropriate for CJLL-FM. Accordingly, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the ethnic radio programming undertaking CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau, from 1 December 2012 to 31 August 2017, five years from the original expiry date of 31 August 2012. This short-term term will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Regulations and its conditions of license. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
21. The Commission reminds Radio 1540 of the importance of complying with its regulatory requirements and conditions of licence at all times. Furthermore, the Commission notes that it may consider recourse to additional measures, including suspension, non-renewal or revocation of the licence pursuant to sections 9 and 24 of the Broadcasting Act, should the licensee once again breach the Regulations or any of its conditions of licence.
- Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-341, 22 June 2012
- Notice of hearing, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-224, 18 April 2012, as amended by Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-224-1, 11 May 2012
- Revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-347, 26 May 2011
- CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau – Licence renewal, Broadcast Decision CRTC 2009-133, 12 March 2009
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-584
Terms and conditions of licence for the ethnic radio programming undertaking CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau
The licence will expire 31 August 2017.
Conditions of licence
1. The licensee shall adhere to the conditions of licence set out in Conditions of licence for commercial AM and FM radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-62, 11 February 2009, with the exception of condition of licence 7.
2. The licensee shall offer, on a weekly basis, programming directed to a minimum of 37 cultural groups in a minimum of 20 languages.
3. The licensee shall devote a minimum of 94% of the programming broadcast in each broadcast week to ethnic programming as defined in Ethnic broadcasting policy, Public Notice CRTC 1999-117, 16 July 1999, as amended from time to time.
4. The licensee shall ensure that at least 92% of programming aired in each broadcast week is in languages other than English, French or a Canadian Aboriginal language.
5. The licensee shall devote no more than 15 hours per broadcast week to the broadcast of regional open-line programming.
For the purpose of this condition, regional open-line programming means open-line programming that is broadcast simultaneously on CJLL-FM Ottawa/Gatineau and on CHIN Toronto or CHIN-FM Toronto.
6. As an exception to section 2.2(4) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, the licensee shall ensure that at least 10% of the musical selections broadcast during ethnic programming periods each broadcast week are Canadian selections.
7. In addition to adhering to the requirement relating to basic annual Canadian content development contributions set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, the licensee shall allocate $5,000 per year to assist in ethnic program development and in training ethnic broadcasters at the Ottawa/Gatineau campus radio stations CKCU-FM Ottawa and CHUO-FM Ottawa. Each of the two stations shall receive $2,500 per year.
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