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Ottawa, 6 February 2014
Our file number: 2013-1216-5 and 2013-1746-2
Independent Community TV (ICTV) Montreal
Director, Regulatory Affairs
Québecor Média inc. on behalf of Vidéotron s.e.n.c.
Re : Application by the Independent Community TV Montreal for a community broadcasting undertaking licence (application number 2013-1746-2) and application by Québecor Média inc. on behalf of Vidéotron s.e.n.c. for a condition of licence to finance an English-language community channel (application number 2013-1216-5)
On 30 August 2013, the Commission received an application from Québecor Média inc. on behalf of Vidéotron s.e.n.c. (Vidéotron) requesting an exception to the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the Regulations) by condition of licence (COL) that would allow Vidéotron to finance, in addition to its French-language community channel “MaTV”, a separate English-language community channel in its Montreal and Montreal-West/Terrebonne broadcasting distribution undertaking (BDU) service areas.
On 11 December 2013, the Commission received a complaint and an application from the Independent Community TV Montreal (ICTV) for a community broadcasting undertaking licence. The ICTV alleges that Vidéotron is not operating MaTV in accordance with the provisions of the Community television policy set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-622-1 (the Policy) as well as the Regulations. The ICTV noted that the Policy specifies that in situations where a BDU does not operate a community channel in accordance with the provisions of the Policy, community groups may apply for a community programming undertaking licence. The ICTV also filed an application for a community broadcasting undertaking licence to serve the Greater Montreal area.
Before it can consider an application for a community programming undertaking licence under the scenario contemplated by the ICTV, the Commission would first have to determine whether the terrestrial BDU is operating the community channel in question in accordance with the Policy and/or the Regulations.
Accordingly, the Commission has decided to only consider the complaint by the ICTV and to consider the aforementioned Vidéotron application in conjunction with the complaint.
The ICTV is, therefore, directed to either 1) submit a new application wherein it sets out its complaint against Vidéotron in regards of its operation of MaTV in Montreal that would be dealt with as a Part 1 application under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Rules of Practice and Procedure; or 2) notify the Commission that it wishes that the materials it currently has filed with the Commission be treated as a Part 1 complaint application. Consistent with the above, the part of the materials currently in front of the Commission that consist of an application for a new licence would not be dealt with until the outcome of the complaint process is known. In both cases, the ICTV would be required to copy, on the same date, Vidéotron with the required documentation.
It is to be noted that once the Commission has issued its decisions on the ICTV Part 1 application and on the Vidéotron application noted above, the ICTV could decide whether it should refile or amend the portion of the materials that constitute its application for a community broadcasting undertaking licence.
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