ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-165
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Route reference: 2012-457
Ottawa, 28 March 2013
La Coopérative Radiophonique de Toronto inc.
Application 2011-0230-1, received 1 February 2011
CHOQ-FM Toronto – Licence renewal and amendment
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the French-language community radio station CHOQ-FM Toronto from 1 April 2013 to 31 August 2019.
The Commission approves the licensee’s request to delete the condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development contributions.
1. La Coopérative Radiophonique de Toronto inc. (La Coopérative) submitted an application to renew the broadcasting licence for the French-language community radio station CHOQ-FM Toronto, which expires on 31 March 2013.1 The Commission did not receive any interventions regarding this application.
2. The licensee also requested that its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development (CTD) contributions be deleted. According to the licensee, CHOQ-FM is one of the only community radio stations required to make this type of financial investment. It added that maintaining this condition of licence would undermine the development efforts of the station in relation to the community and continue to be a financial strain on the station.
3. In Broadcast Notice of Consultation 2012-457, the Commission indicated that the licensee may have failed to comply with the above-noted condition of licence for the broadcast years 2005-2006 through 2009-2010, as well as with section 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations) on the provision of annual returns for the same broadcast years.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
4. After reviewing the application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues that must be addressed are the following:
- the deletion of the condition of licence relating to CTD contributions and the apparent non-compliance of the licensee with that condition of licence;
- the apparent non-compliance of the licensee as regards the filing of annual returns.
Deletion of the condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development contributions and apparent non-compliance of the licensee with that condition of licence
5. The Commission issued a licence to La Coopérative in Broadcasting Decision 2003-116 following a competitive process in Toronto. In that decision, the Commission imposed a condition of licence relating to financial contributions to CTD, according to which these contributions should consist of an annual investment of $15,000 to hold a local talent competition. Although such a condition of licence is often imposed on commercial radio stations, it is rarely imposed on a community radio station. The licensee had, however, committed during the 2003 hearing to making these contributions. The Commission therefore imposed a condition of licence to that effect when it issued the licence.
6. Community radio stations must provide local news and other information relevant to the community served, promote local culture and its artistic expression and promote emerging Canadian artists, while emphasizing local music and spoken word and broadcasting any other relevant local content. The Commission also examines issues relating to volunteer participation and other measures aimed at ensuring the integration of the community in the activities of a community radio station (for example, the implementation and involvement of a board of directors). The issues of access to the airwaves and the on-air reflection of local artists in music and other fields are structural issues.
7. The amounts spent to operate a commercial radio station are considered to be the normal costs of operating an undertaking and cannot be counted as over-and-above Canadian content development (CCD) contributions. However, community stations are by definition not-for-profit corporations and their roles include the promotion and support of Canadian artists. Consequently, any additional investment to finance operations must be considered as a direct CTD investment.
8. The Commission notes that CHOQ-FM admitted that a narrow interpretation of what constitutes an eligible CTD initiative (now referred to as CCD) shows that the licensee did not fully comply with its condition of licence to that effect.
9. However, a review of the station’s expenditures in its first five years of operation shows that the amounts contributed by CHOQ-FM including those amounts devoted to promotion and other expenditures strictly related to CCD, greatly exceed the requirements in that regard. The Commission therefore concludes that the station is not in a situation of non-compliance since it satisfied and even exceeded the requirements set out in that condition of licence during the first licence term.
10. In light of the above and given that such a condition of licence is not usually imposed on community radio stations, the Commission approves the licensee’s request to delete the condition of licence relating to contributions to CTD.
Apparent non-compliance of the licensee as regards the provision of annual returns
11. Section 9(2) of the Regulations requires licensees to file an annual return by 30 November of each year for the broadcast year ending on the previous 31 August. The Commission notes that La Coopérative’s annual returns were submitted after the 30 November deadline for the 2005-2006 through 2009-2010 broadcast years.
12. In response to a letter from the Commission, La Coopérative explained that the late filing of annual returns was due to the station’s very limited human and financial resources and the fact that it had deemed it appropriate to send audited financial statements to the Commission. La Coopérative indicated that it took immediate measures to ensure that annual returns would be submitted on time in the future. In this regard, the licensee emphasized that its financial situation was stabilizing and that it now had a larger staff. The licensee stated that it would consequently obtain audited financial statements more quickly and would file them with the Commission by 30 November each year.
13. The Commission is satisfied with the licensee’s explanations and the corrective actions it has taken. Nonetheless, the Commission reminds the licensee that it must file its annual return by 30 November of each year for the broadcast year ending on the previous 31 August, as set out in section 9(2) of the Regulations.
14. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach for dealing with non-compliance by radio stations. Specifically, the Commission indicated that each instance of non-compliance would be evaluated in its context and in light of factors such as the quantity, recurrence and seriousness of the non-compliance. The Commission also indicated that it would consider the circumstances, the arguments provided by the licensee and the measures taken to rectify the situation.
15. In accordance with its revised approach and taking into consideration the measures taken by La Coopérative, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the French-language community radio programming undertaking CHOQ-FM Toronto from 1 April 2013 to 31 August 2019. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- Notice of applications received, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-457, 28 August 2012
- Various radio programming undertakings – Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-456, 28 August 2012
- Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-790, 19 December 2011
- Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-558,
31 August 2011, as amended by Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-558-1, 23 September 2011
- Revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-347, 26 May 2011
- Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-334, 9 June 2009
- French-language FM community radio station in Toronto, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-116, 17 April 2003
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-165
Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement for the French-language community radio programming undertaking CHOQ-FM Toronto, Ontario
The licence will expire 31 August 2019.
Conditions of licence
1. The licensee shall adhere to the conditions set out in Standard conditions of licence for campus and community radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-304, 22 May 2012.
2. The licensee shall devote all of its programming to French-language community radio programming oriented primarily to the various French-language communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
3. In each broadcast week, the licensee shall devote to French-language musical selections broadcast in their entirety at least 70% of musical selections from content category 2 (Popular Music), as defined in Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-819, 5 November 2010, as amended from time to time.
Filing of ownership information
As set out in Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010, 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. As noted in Appendix 3 to that regulatory policy, licensees may submit such documentation via the Commission’s website.
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.
The original licence expiry date for the station was 31 August 2009. The licence was administratively renewed until 31 March 2013 as a result of Broadcasting Decisions 2009-334, 2011-558 (as amended by 2011-558-1), 2011-790 and 2012-456.
- Date modified: