Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2021-82
Reference: Part 1 licence renewal application posted on 30 October 2020
Ottawa, 22 February 2021
Bathurst Radio Inc.
Bathurst, New Brunswick
Public record for this application: 2019-0703-1
CJUJ-FM Bathurst – Licence renewal
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the low-power, English-language community radio station CJUJ-FM Bathurst, New Brunswick, from 1 March 2021 to 31 August 2026. This short-term renewal will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with its regulatory requirements.
- The Commission has the authority, pursuant to section 9(1) of the Broadcasting Act (the Act), to issue and renew licences for such terms not exceeding seven years and subject to such conditions related to the circumstances of the licensee as it deems appropriate for the implementation of the broadcasting policy set out in section 3(1) of the Act.
- On 3 June 2019, the Commission issued Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2019-194, which listed the radio stations for which the broadcasting licences would expire 31 August 2020 and therefore needed to be renewed to continue their operations. In that notice of consultation, the Commission requested that the licensees of those stations submit renewal applications for their broadcasting licences.
- In response, Bathurst Radio Inc. (Bathurst Radio) filed an application to renew the broadcasting licence for the low-power, English-language community radio station CJUJ-FM Bathurst, New Brunswick, which expires 28 February 2021.Footnote 1 The Commission received an intervention in support of the application from the National Campus and Community Radio Association.
Implementation of the National Public Alerting System
- Section 10(1) of the Act authorizes the Commission to make regulations furthering its objects regarding the broadcasting of programs. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2014-444, the Commission reiterated that the broadcasting system has a vital role to play in the provision of emergency alert messages to Canadians and that the duty to inform the public of imminent perils is at the core of the public service obligations of all broadcasters.
- The provision of emergency alert messages is achieved through Canada’s National Public Alerting System (NPAS). In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2014-444, the Commission announced that it was requiring broadcasters to fully participate in the NPAS. In this regard, it set out that most broadcasters in Canada would be required to alert Canadians to imminent threats to life by 31 March 2015. For campus, community and Indigenous radio stations and television broadcasters, as well as radiocommunication distribution undertakings, participation in the NPAS would be required by 31 March 2016.
- In regard to campus, community and Indigenous radio stations and television broadcasters, as well as radiocommunication distribution undertakings, pursuant to the authority granted by section 10(1) of the Act, the Commission made section 16(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), which specifies that except as otherwise provided under a condition of its licence, a licensee shall implement on all stations that it is licensed to operate, by no later than 31 March 2016, a public alerting system that broadcasts without delay, on a given station, any audio alert that it receives from the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System that (a) announces an imminent or unfolding danger to life; and (b) is designated by the applicable issuing authority for immediate broadcast in all or part of the area within the station’s A.M. 5 mV/m contour, F.M. 0.5 mV/m contour or digital service area, as the case may be.
- According to Commission records, Bathurst Radio did not implement the NPAS for CJUJ-FM by the 31 March 2016 time limit.
- Bathurst Radio submitted that the technical and administrative logistics for CJUJ-FM have been a learning curve, and that it had understood that it could implement a “manual” emergency measures protocol. The licensee added that this oversight was not intentional and that the purchase and implementation of equipment to integrate to the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System was a big financial commitment at the time.
- Bathurst Radio added that the station is now better equipped and running more efficiently and that the executive director fully understands the urgency of implementing the system immediately. It also indicated that the system would be fully implemented before 31 December 2020. However, no written confirmation regarding the system’s implementation has been provided to the Commission at the time of this decision.
- In light of the above, the Commission finds the licensee in non-compliance with section 16(3) of the Regulations.
- The Commission’s approach to non-compliance by radio stations is set out in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2014-608. Under that approach, each instance of non-compliance is evaluated in its context and in light of factors such as the number, recurrence and seriousness of the instances of non-compliance. The circumstances leading to the non-compliance, the arguments provided by the licensee and the actions taken to rectify the situation are also considered.
- The Commission considers Bathurst Radio’s non-compliance with requirements relating to the implementation of the NPAS to be very severe in nature given that more than four years have passed since the 31 March 2016 time limit for community radio stations to install the system. Although the Commission recognizes the limited financial means of community radio stations, it considers that the licensee’s failure to implement the alerting system represents a gap in critical infrastructure to warn Canadians of situations where imminent threat to life exists.
- In the Commission’s view, the licensee has taken steps to ensure its compliance toward the installation of the NPAS in the near future. Nevertheless, the Commission finds that it would be appropriate to require the licensee to implement the NPAS on CJUJ-FM by no later than 25 May 2021. A condition of licence to that effect is set out in the appendix to this decision. Additionally, the Commission notes that the licensee must include the NPAS implementation date in Form 1411, which is submitted as part of its annual return.
- The Commission has examined the public record for this application and notes the licensee’s willingness to ensure the station’s compliance with regulatory requirements. However, given the seriousness of this instance of non-compliance, the Commission finds that it would be appropriate to renew the broadcasting licence for CJUJ-FM for a short-term period, which will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with its regulatory requirements.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the low-power, English-language community radio station CJUJ-FM Bathurst, New Brunswick, from 1 March 2021 to 31 August 2026. The conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
National Public Alerting System
- The full participation of the broadcasting industry is important for the NPAS to be effective in safeguarding and warning Canadians. As such, the Commission considers that compliance must be enforced and station compliance in a timely manner will be closely monitored. The Commission could choose to apply other regulatory measures, such as those set out in Broadcasting Information bulletin 2014-608, should the requirements with respect to the NPAS not be fulfilled.
Force and effect of broadcasting licences
- Pursuant to section 22 of the Act, the broadcasting licence renewed in this decision will cease to have any force or effect if the broadcasting certificate issued by the Department of Industry lapses.
- Various radio programming undertakings – Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2020-284, 21 August 2020
- Call for licence renewal applications, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-194, 3 June 2019
- Update on the Commission’s approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2014-608, 21 November 2014
- Amendments to various regulations, the standard conditions of licence for video-on-demand undertakings and certain exemption orders – Provisions requiring the mandatory distribution of emergency alert messages, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-444 and Broadcasting Orders CRTC 2014-445, 2014-446, 2014-447 and 2014-448, 29 August 2014
- Standard conditions of licence for campus and community radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-304, 22 May 2012
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2021-82
Terms, conditions of licence, expectations and encouragement for the low-power, English-language community radio programming undertaking CJUJ-FM Bathurst, New Brunswick
The licence will expire 31 August 2026.
Conditions of licence
- 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, as well as to the conditions set out in the broadcasting licence for the undertaking.
- In order to comply with the requirements set out in sections 16(2) and 16(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 and Amendments to various regulations, the standard conditions of licence for video-on-demand undertakings and certain exemption orders - Provisions requiring the mandatory distribution of emergency alert messages, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-444 and Broadcasting Orders CRTC 2014-445, 2014-446, 2014-447 and 2014-448, 29 August 2014, the licensee shall implement the National Public Alerting System (NPAS) by no later than 25 May 2021. As part of this requirement:
- The licensee must file with the Commission a letter attesting to the implementation date of its NPAS within 14 days after the installation. In this letter, the licensee must confirm whether maintenance, testing and updating procedures have been adopted for its automated emergency alert message distribution equipment.
- In addition, the licensee must file with the Commission the results of its first NPAS tests, as scheduled by the relevant alerting authorities, within two weeks after the occurrence of such system tests.
The Commission expects the licensee to reflect the cultural diversity of Canada in its programming and employment practices. 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. Such information may be submitted through 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.
- Date modified: