Broadcasting - Procedural Letter addressed to Michael Sandstrom (CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association)

Ottawa, 28 June 2022

Michael Sandstrom
CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association
4709 River Road
Fort Vermilion, AB
T0H 1N0

Sent by E-mail

Re: Broadcasting Part 1 applications 2022-0056-7, 2022-0055-9, 2022-0054-1, 2022-0053-3, 2022-0052-5, 2022-0051-7, 2022-0050-0 , and 2022-0048-4 – CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association

Dear Mr. Sandstrom,

This is in reference to the above-noted applications submitted by CIAM Media & Radio Broadcasting Association (CIAM-FM) for technical amendments to the authorized contours of eight rebroadcasting transmitters in Watt Mountain, AB (CIAM-FM-3); Vanderhoof, BC (CIAM-FM-11); Saskatoon Hill, AB (CIAM-FM-25); Prince Albert, SK (CIAM-FM-22); Hines Creek, AB (CIAM-FM-6); Dawson Creek, AB (CIAM-FM-9); Corman Park, SK (CIAM-FM-29); and Charlie Lake, BC (CIAM-FM-8).

Section 28(1)(a) of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure provides that the Commission may request parties to file information, particulars or documents where needed.

Commission staff would like to underline that it is the responsibility of an applicant to submit a complete application that includes all relevant information and provides the necessary supporting documentation. Further, it is important for an applicant to demonstrate the existence of a technical or economic need justifying the proposed amendments. Additionally, an applicant must clearly explain how the approval of the proposed solution(s) would resolve the technical issues described in the application.

In light of the above, please provide the following information:

  1. Technical need and evidence – in your applications, it was indicated that the requested technical changes are necessary to reach more listeners with clearer and stronger signals.
  1. Technical Solution – it was indicated in your applications that, “CIAM-FM has explored every venue to technically solve the broadcast coverage and signal strength issue. CIAM-FM unfortunately is not able to reach our target audience in the above-mentioned communities with a clear signal. There are no other towers available for co-locations in the area.”
  1. Community support and public interest – in your applications, it was mentioned that the local communities in which eight of your rebroadcasting transmitters are located and the nearby Indigenous reserves have expressed desire to increase the coverage with better and clearer signal for listeners in these communities.
  1. Local programming – in Question 3 a) of the application forms, it was stated that, “Thanks to many dedicated community volunteers, listeners can now hear programs, music, news, information, community messages, and interviews, catering to the needs of our remote areas, especially context of the local Indigenous languages.”

Under the Broadcasting Act (the Act), a broadcasting undertaking that is not exempt is required to possess a broadcasting licence. Such undertakings include FM radio stations.   However, such stations are defined so as to exclude a transmitter that only rebroadcasts the radiocommunications of a licensee.

The reason for this exclusion is that rebroadcasting transmitters are already linked to a licensed station.  The purpose of a rebroadcasting transmitter is to provide an extension of a licensed radio station, either to enhance the signal within the licensed market, or to extend the programming offered on the main station to communities beyond the licensed market.  In all cases, the programming on rebroadcasting transmitters should not be altered from that of the main station (for example, to insert local programming for another community).

As a result, if an undertaking provides local programming on its rebroadcasting transmitter that is different than the programming broadcasting on its primary station, a separate broadcasting licence is required for each of those transmitters in order to serve those communities. 

Based on the statement above, it appears that CIAM-FM may be providing or may be planning to provide local programming unique to the various communities served by its rebroadcasting transmitters. Such activity would require CIAM-FM to obtain a new licence for each rebroadcasting transmitter on which it wishes to provide such programming.

The information requested herein should be submitted to the Commission by no later than 12 July 2022, failing which, the applications may be returned to be completed and resubmitted with the Commission should CIAM-FM wish to pursue these applications.

Considering the above request, once the application is completed with this additional information the Commission will re-publish the application for additional comments. The timelines for the proceeding will be as follows:

The Commission requires that you submit your response and other documents electronically using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and fill in the “Broadcasting Cover page” located on this web page. On this web page, you will also find a link to information on the submission of applications to the Commission “Submitting applications and other documents to the CRTC using My CRTC Account.” 

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

Should you need further information concerning these applications, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at or by telephone at 873-353-6390.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Kim
Senior Analyst, Radio Policy & Applications
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

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