ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-517

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Route reference: 2013-220

Ottawa, 26 September 2013

Québec, Quebec

Application 2012-0335-6, received 15 March 2012

CHOI-FM Québec – Licence renewal

The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the French-language commercial radio station CHOI-FM Québec from 1 October 2013 to 31 August 2020.

The application

1. RNC MEDIA Inc. (RNC) filed an application to renew the broadcasting licence for its French-language commercial radio station CHOI-FM Québec, Quebec, which expires 30 September 2013.[1]

2. The Commission received an intervention from l’Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ). It also received an intervention from the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the ministère de la Sécurité publique, on behalf of the government of Quebec (the Ministères). The licensee replied to the interventions.

3. The intervention of the Ministères related to the participation of the station in the National Public alerting System (NPAS). In this regard, as specified in its three-year plan, the Commission will be looking at measures to ensure the participation of Canadian broadcasters and telecommunications service providers in the NPAS. Therefore, the Commission will not impose conditions of licence requiring the participation of broadcasters in the NPAS at this time. However, the Commission expects all licensees to voluntarily participate in the NPAS so that Canadians receive timely warnings of imminent perils.

4. The public record for this application can be found on the Commission’s website at under “Public Proceedings.”

Complaints received

5. The Commission notes that it received a significant number of complaints from concerned citizens and listeners over the course of the last licence term. The Commission therefore asked RNC to specify what measures it had taken or would put in place to manage and prevent complaints against CHOI-FM in the next licence term.

6. In its reply, RNC submitted that while the Commission approved its acquisition of CHOI-FM in Broadcasting Decision 2006-600, a great number of complaints filed after the release of that decision[2] continued to relate to situations that occurred before it had taken over the station. Moreover, according to RNC, these comments do not raise any issues in terms of explicit programming, but state that the station should be shut down.

7. RNC also indicated that since 1 September 2008, it has kept a record of the complaints received and treated by the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC). It claimed that of the 224 complaints referred to the CBSC, 133 were not retained since they were unfounded, having been provided by people residing outside the station’s market who had not heard the comments broadcast upon which the complaints were founded.

8. In addition, RNC indicated that of the 54 complaints treated by the CBSC during this period, only 6 resulted in an unfavorable decision for CHOI-FM. To meet its obligations under sections 3(1)(g) and 3(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act (the Act), CHOI-FM implemented a code of ethics, as noted in paragraph 67 of Broadcasting Decision 2006-600. RNC indicated that the code will remain in force throughout the next licence term.

9. Finally, RNC argued that since the CBSC has only issued one unfavourable decision regarding CHOI-FM since 31 August 2009, the measures it has put in place to ensure better control of the matters broadcast on that station are working.


10. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2013-220, the Commission noted that the licensee was in apparent non-compliance with its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development (CTD) for the 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 broadcast years.

11. The condition of licence, as set out in Broadcasting Decision 2006-600, required the licensee to direct specific amounts annually to each of MUSICACTION, Fonds RadioStar, the Quebec International Summer Festival and a competition for emerging artists. The instance of apparent non-compliance for the 2008-2009 broadcast year pertains to a shortfall of $7,738 relating to its obligation to Fonds RadioStar. The instances of apparent non-compliance for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 broadcast years relate to the allocation of funds to New Rock and Inter-Nation Art instead of the initiatives set out in its condition of licence, as well as the failure to provide proof of eligibility for these initiatives, which demonstrate how the expenditures to these initiatives meet its condition of licence.

12. As part of the renewal application, RNC admitted that administrative errors that occurred during the licence term led to the shortfall for the 2008-2009 broadcast year. The licensee noted that it had made additional payments in the following year to remedy the shortfall. It added that a financial officer has been appointed to oversee future contributions.

13. With respect to the instance of apparent non-compliance for the 2009-2010 broadcast year, the Commission notes that the licensee provided documentation demonstrating the eligibility of New Rock as a recipient of CTD funding and explained that the CTD contributions to New Rock were in turn made to the initiatives set out in its condition of licence.

14. Regarding the apparent shortfall in the 2010-2011 broadcast year, RNC explained that it contributed to Inter-Nation Art, an initiative directly related to the Quebec International Summer Festival, instead of New Rock, since the latter did not organize an event that year.

15. As stated in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2009-251, Canadian content development (CCD) contributions[3] required by condition of licence cannot be deferred in whole or in part to any subsequent broadcast year unless prior authorization is sought and obtained from the Commission. If a payment is made after 31 August or if it is made to an initiative other than the one specified in the condition of licence, the licensee will be deemed to have failed to comply with its obligation to make CCD contributions during the applicable broadcast year. The same principle applies to CTD contributions imposed by condition of licence.

16. In light of the above, the Commission finds the licensee in non-compliance with its condition of licence relating to CTD for the 2008-2009 broadcast year. While the licensee did not contribute directly to the initiatives specified in its condition of licence for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 broadcast years, the Commission is satisfied that these initiatives were the ultimate recipients of the contributions.

Regulatory measures

17. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach to 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 of the non-compliance, the arguments provided by the licensee and the measures taken to rectify the situation.

18. The Commission considers that initiatives relating to the development of Canadian content and talent will not only help to develop and advance the careers of emerging Canadian artists but will increase the supply of high-quality Canadian music in a variety of genres and the demand for Canadian music by listeners. Accordingly, it is important that radio licensees make their required contributions to the development of Canadian content and talent.

19. The Commission notes that RNC discovered the shortfall on its own and has already made it up.

20. The Commission is satisfied that the licensee has made sufficient contributions over its licence term to fulfill the amounts required by condition of licence, has adequately explained the reasons for the instances of non-compliance identified and has established measures to ensure future compliance.

21. Given the circumstances surrounding the complaints received, the non-compliance for CHOI-FM, as well as the measures put in place by the licensee, the Commission considers it appropriate to grant a full-term renewal to the station. The Commission notes RNC’s commitment to continue to comply with its code of ethics governing open-line programming in the new licence term.


22. In light of all of the above, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the French-language commercial radio programming undertaking CHOI-FM Québec, Quebec, from 1 October 2013 to 31 August 2020. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.


23. Pursuant to section 22 of the Act, the Commission reminds the licensee that the broadcasting licence will cease to have any force or effect if the broadcasting certificate issued by the Department of Industry lapses.

Employment equity

24. Because this licensee is subject to the Employment Equity Act and files reports concerning employment equity with the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, its employment equity practices are not examined by the Commission.

Secretary General

Related documents

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-517

Terms and conditions of licence for the French-language commercial radio programming undertaking CHOI-FM Québec, Quebec


The licence will expire 31 August 2020.

Conditions of licence

  1. The licensee shall adhere to the conditions set out in Conditions of licence for commercial AM and FM radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-62, 11 February 2009, as amended from time to time, with the exception of condition of licence 7.
  2. The station shall be operated within the specialty format as defined in A Review of Certain Matters Concerning Radio, Public Notice CRTC 1995-60, 21 April 1995, and Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-819, 5 November 2010, as amended from time to time.
  3. The licensee shall devote more than 50% of programming broadcast during each broadcast week to programming drawn from category 1 (spoken word).

[1] The original expiry date for CHOI-FM’s broadcasting licence was 31 August 2012. The licence was administratively renewed until 31 September 2013 as a result of Broadcasting Decisions 2012-434 and 2013-427.

[2] 20 October 2006

[3] In Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158, the Commission replaced the expression "Canadian talent development” with "Canadian content development”.

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