ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-639
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Route reference: 2013-218
Ottawa, 29 November 2013
Application 2012-1465-0, received 13 November 2012
CJRS Montréal – Licence renewal
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the religious radio station CJRS Montréal from 1 January 2014 to 31 August 2017. This short-term licence renewal will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with its conditions of licence and with the Radio Regulations, 1986.
The Commission denies the licensee’s request that the station’s annual returns be based on its fiscal year rather than on the broadcast year.
1. The Commission received an application by Radio Chalom to renew the broadcasting licence for the religious radio station CJRS Montréal, which expires 31 December 2013.
2. In its application, the licensee requested that its condition of licence relating to Canadian talent development (CTD) contributions be deleted and that it be subject instead to the Canadian content development (CCD) requirements set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), retroactive to the station’s first year of operation (i.e., the 2006-2007 broadcast year). It also requested that it be permitted to file annual returns based on the station’s fiscal year (i.e., 1 January to 31 December) rather than on the broadcast year (i.e., 1 September to 31 August).
3. The Commission received an intervention offering general comments on the application by l’Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ), to which the licensee did not reply. The public record for this proceeding can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”
4. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2013-218, the Commission stated that the licensee was in apparent non-compliance with requirements relating to CTD contributions and to the filing of annual returns, for various broadcast years.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
5. After examining the public record for this application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues it must address are the following:
- the licensee’s compliance with requirements relating to CTD contributions; and
- the licensee’s compliance with requirements relating to the filing of annual returns.
Contributions to Canadian talent development
6. In Broadcasting Decision 2006-80, the Commission approved an application by Radio Chalom for a broadcasting licence to operate a commercial religious AM radio station in Montréal (which would become CJRS). In that application, the licensee proposed to contribute a minimum of $35,000 to CTD rather than take part in the plan developed by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, and to follow a payment schedule based on a $1,000 increase in its annual contribution for each year of the licence term.
7. Noting that the station would be able to generate only limited revenues, the Commission accepted Radio Chalom’s proposal. Accordingly, in the appendix to Broadcasting Decision 2006-80, the Commission set out a condition of licence requiring the licensee to devote a total of $35,000 over seven years in direct expenditures to support CTD, to be paid as follows: Year 1: $2,000; Year 2: $3,000; Year 3: $4,000; Year 4: $5,000; Year 5: $6,000; Year 6: $7,000; Year 7: $8,000. The Commission notes, however, that the licensee did not make any of the above-noted contributions. According to Radio Chalom, it was unable to respect its commitment due to the financial difficulties the station experienced in the years following its launch.
8. In regard to adhering to section 15 of the Regulations rather than the above-noted condition of licence, Radio Chalom stated that it would have been required to pay a total of $3,500 for the first licence term (i.e., $500 per broadcast year for seven years) rather than the $35,000 required by its condition of licence. It therefore committed to make monthly payments of $500 to MUSICACTION until the full amount of $3,500 has been paid.
9. In its intervention, ADISQ stated that the Commission should require Radio Chalom to ensure that the $35,000 shortfall is paid as soon as possible. In addition, it argued that the CJRS should be granted a short-term licence renewal due to the seriousness of the non-compliance. Although ADISQ applauded Radio Chalom’s commitment to direct future CCD contributions to MUSICACTION, it also expressed its regret that the licensee did not commit to contribute more than the minimum amount required under the Regulations. Finally, ADISQ expressed concerns over how the licensee’s non-compliance reflects on the integrity of the Commission’s licensing process, given that the Commission’s decision to approve the application to operate CJRS was based in part on Radio Chalom’s commitment relating to CTD contributions.
10. The Commission notes that Radio Chalom is a not-for-profit charitable organization registered with Revenue Canada. As such, it has not been required to make CCD contributions under the revised CCD regime set out in section 15 of the Regulations, which replaced the CTD regime and came into effect in the 2008-2009 broadcast year. Furthermore, pursuant to amendments to the Regulations that took effect on 1 September 2013 and that only require a CCD contribution from the licensee of a radio station whose annual revenues are greater than $1,250,000, Radio Chalom will no longer be required to make CCD contributions in regard to CJRS.
11. The Commission is therefore of the view that it would be appropriate to require the licensee to make up its CTD shortfalls for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 broadcast years only, for a total of $5,000 ($2,000 for 2006-2007 and $3,000 for 2007-2008, as per the condition of licence set out in Broadcasting Decision 2006-80). To assist the licensee in making up this shortfall, the Commission will require the licensee to make these contributions in equal installments over a period of ten months. A condition of licence to that effect is set out in the appendix to this decision.
Filing of annual returns
12. Section 9(2) of the Regulations requires licensees to file their annual returns on or before 30 November of a given year for the broadcast year ending the previous 31 August. According to the Commission’s records, for the 2006-2007 through 2010-2011 broadcast years, the licensee did not file annual returns for CJRS by the 30 November deadline, but only after having received a Commission deficiency letter dated 6 December 2012 explaining that the station’s annual returns had not been received for the 2006-2007 through 2008-2009, and 2010-2011 broadcast years. Further, these returns were based on the station’s fiscal year, rather than on the broadcast year as required by section 9(2) of the Regulations. In addition, the returns for 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 did not include financial statements and were therefore incomplete.
13. Radio Chalom stated that the non-compliance was due to the fact that its fiscal year covers the period from 1 January to 31 December, as well as to restricted administrative and accounting resources stemming from its limited financial situation. It requested that the Commission accept annual returns for CJRS based on the station’s fiscal year rather than on the broadcast year.
14. As set out in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-795, the annual returns for radio stations must cover the broadcast year, irrespective of the accounting or taxation year-end of the licensee. The Commission notes that other types of radio stations that face similar challenges are required to respect the requirement set out in that information bulletin. Further, the Commission has never granted an exception to section 9(2) of the Regulations such that a licensee’s annual returns would cover its fiscal year rather than the broadcast year.
15. Annual returns are key components of the Commission’s ongoing monitoring plan and an authoritative source of statistics on the Canadian broadcasting industry for use by all stakeholders. Therefore, timely compliance with reporting requirements not only allows the Commission to effectively monitor licensees’ performance and compliance with various regulations and obligations, but also enables it to effectively assess, supervise, and regulate the radio broadcasting industry.
16. In light of the above, the Commission considers that it would not be appropriate to grant Radio Chalom’s request in this regard, and therefore denies that request. The licensee shall therefore adhere to the requirements set out in section 9(2) of the Regulations. Moreover, the Commission requires the licensee to file by no later than six months from the date of this decision the annual returns for the 2006-2007 through 2011-2012 broadcast years, including financial statements, that cover each of those broadcast years rather than the licensee’s fiscal years. A condition of licence to that effect is set out in the appendix to this decision. Finally, the Commission reminds Radio Chalom that its annual return for the 2012-2013 broadcast year must be filed with the Commission by no later than 30 November 2013, as required by section 9(2) of the Regulations.
17. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach to dealing with radio stations found 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.
18. In light of the nature of the licensee’s non-compliance as described above, the Commission considers that a short-term renewal period for CJRS would be appropriate. Accordingly, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the religious radio programming undertaking CJRS Montréal from 1 January 2014 to 31 August 2017. This short-term renewal will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with its conditions of licence and the Regulations. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- Amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986 concerning basic Canadian content development contributions and the addition of a definition of the Community Radio Fund of Canada, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-476, 6 September 2013
- CJRS Montréal – Administrative renewal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-443, 27 August 2013
- Notice of applications received, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-218, 7 May 2013
- Various radio programming undertakings – Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-447, 17 August 2012
- Filing annual returns for radio programming undertakings, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-795, 20 December 2011
- Revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-347, 26 May 2011
- Amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986 – Implementation of the Commercial Radio Policy 2006 and the Digital Radio Policy – Regulatory Policy, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-67, 23 July 2008
- Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006
- Religious AM radio station in Montréal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-80, 15 March 2006
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-639
Terms, conditions of licence and encouragement for the religious radio programming undertaking CJRS Montréal, Quebec
The licence will expire 31 August 2017.
Conditions of licence
- The licensee shall adhere to the conditions set out in Conditions of licence for AM and FM radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-62, 11 February 2009.
- A minimum of 90% of all musical selections broadcast during each broadcast week shall be devoted to selections drawn from content category 3 (Special Interest Music), as set out in Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Public Notice CRTC 2000-14, 28 January 2000.
- The licensee shall, as an exception to the percentage of Canadian musical selections set out in section 2.2(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), devote, in each broadcast week, at least 12% of its content category 3 (Special Interest Music) musical selections to Canadian selections.
For the purposes of this condition of licence, the terms “broadcast week,” “Canadian selection,” “content category” and “musical selection” shall have the same meaning as that set out in the Regulations.
- Where the licensee broadcasts religious programming as defined in the Religious Broadcasting Policy, Public Notice CRTC 1993-78, 3 June 1993, the licensee shall adhere to the guidelines set out in sections III.B.2.a) and IV of that public notice with respect to the provision of balance and ethics in religious programming, as amended from time to time.
- During each broadcast week, the licensee shall broadcast not less than 18 hours of balanced programming.
- As of 1 January 2014, the licensee shall make a monthly contribution of $500 to MUSICACTION until the $5,000 shortfall relating to its required contributions to Canadian talent development for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 broadcast years has been rectified.
- The licensee shall file annual returns as well as financial statements for CJRS Montreal for the 2006-2007 through 2011-2012 broadcast years, covering the period 1 September to 31 August, by no later than 29 May 2014.
In accordance with Implementation of an employment equity policy, Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, 1 September 1992, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
 In Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158, the Commission replaced the expression "Canadian talent development" with "Canadian content development" in order to reflect a new emphasis on development initiatives that lead to the creation of audio content for broadcast using Canadian resources. The making of the amendment to the Radio Regulations, 1986 in this regard was announced in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2008-67.
- Date modified: