Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-143
Ottawa, 20 April 2016
Sivanesarajah Kandiah, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated
St. Catharines, Ontario
Application 2015-0091-8, received 26 January 2015
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
17 December 2015
English-language AM radio station in St. Catharines
The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial AM radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario.
- Sivanesarajah Kandiah, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, filed an application for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial AM radio station in St. Catharines, Ontario. The station would operate at 1220 kHz with a daytime and nighttime transmitter power of 10,000 watts.
- The applicant stated that the corporation to be incorporated will be owned by Mr. Sivanesarajah Kandiah (85%) and Mr. David J. Dancy (15%) and controlled by Mr. Kandiah.
- The station would offer a musical format consisting of classic hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s and would broadcast 126 hours of locally produced programming each broadcast week, including 2 hours of news, weather and sports. In addition to local, regional, national and some international news, the station would offer community-focused programming, such as weather and traffic reports, community billboards and talk shows promoting local events from charities and not-for-profit groups, for a total of 10 hours and 25 minutes of spoken word programming each week.
- Finally, in addition to the required basic annual contribution to Canadian content development (CCD) set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), the applicant proposed to devote $22,500 by condition of licence to CCD over the course of its first seven years of operation. The applicant stated that its contributions would focus on supporting music education and training in accredited schools and education institutions.
Interventions and applicant's reply
- The Commission received interventions supporting the application, as well as a comment from an individual and an opposing intervention by Mr. Kumar Nadarajah, President of East-FM CJRK FM, a newly authorized yet unlaunched ethnic station in Scarborough. The public record for this application can be found on the Commission's website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the application number provided above.
- In his intervention, Mr. Nadarajah expressed concern that if the proposed model for the new station were not viable, the applicant might be tempted to broadcast ethnic programming, as did the previous operator of the proposed frequency, Pellpropco Inc., whose licence was revoked following repeated non-compliance, including exceeding the weekly maximum level of third-language programming and targeting ethnic communities outside of its licensed market of St. Catharines. The intervener requested that if the Commission decided to grant the applicant a licence, it impose a condition of licence prohibiting the station from devoting more than 15% of the broadcast week to the broadcast of third-language programming or programming directed to ethnic communities.
- In reply to the opposing intervention, the applicant stressed that its application was for an English-language commercial station, not an ethnic station, and that it did not own the station previously operated by Pellpropco Inc., nor was it involved in its operation. It also noted that the Regulations would preclude it from devoting more than 15% of the broadcast week to third-language programming and that its application targeted the St. Catharines and Niagara region local communities, such that there was no indication that its programming would be directed to audiences in Toronto or Scarborough.
Commission's analysis and decision
- The Commission considers that the proposed AM station would serve to complement existing stations by offering an additional programming choice via the classic hit format, as well as local programming. The Commission also considers that approval of the application would not have an undue impact on existing stations in the market. Finally, as noted by the applicant, section 7(3) of the Regulations prohibits an AM licensee licensed to operate a station other than an ethnic station from devoting more than 15% of a broadcast week to third-language programs without prior authorization from the Commission.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Sivanesarajah Kandiah, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial AM radio programming undertaking in St. Catharines, Ontario. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-143
Terms, conditions of licence and encouragement for the English-language commercial AM radio programming undertaking in St. Catharine's, Ontario
The licence will expire 31 August 2022.
The station will operate at 1220 kHz with a daytime and nighttime transmitter power of 10,000 watts.
The Commission reminds the applicant that pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
Further, the Commission will only issue a licence for this undertaking once the applicant has:
- satisfied the Commission, with supporting documentation, that an eligible Canadian corporation has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects; and
- informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations.
The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 20 April 2018. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.
Conditions of licence
- 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 well as to the conditions set out in the broadcasting licence to be issued for the undertaking.
- Where the licensee broadcasts religious programming as defined in Religious Broadcasting Policy, Public Notice CRTC 1993-78, 3 June 1993, as amended from time to time, the licensee shall adhere to the guidelines set out in sections III.B.2.a) and IV of that public notice regarding the provision of balance and ethics in religious programming.
- In addition to the basic annual contribution to Canadian content development set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, as amended from time to time, the licensee shall contribute a total of $22,500 over its first seven years of operation to the promotion and development of Canadian content, to be allocated as follows starting in the second year of operations:
- $2,500 in year 2;
- $3,000 in year 3;
- $3,500 in year 4;
- $4,000 in year 5;
- $4,500 in year 6; and
- $5,000 in year 7.
The licensee shall allocate at least 20% of these amounts in each broadcast year to FACTOR or MUSICACTION. The remainder shall be allocated to parties and initiatives fulfilling the definition of eligible initiatives set out in paragraph 108 of Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006.
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.
- Date modified: