Minutes of the 16th meeting of the OLMC-CRTC Discussion Group

March 22, 2017, 10 a.m. (Eastern Time)

Nancy Devine Room, 6th Floor, CRTC, 1 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau

  1. Opening remarks

    Frédéric Janelle, National Coordinator for section 41 of the Official Languages Act (OLA), and Senior Analyst, French-Language TV and Applications (CRTC), welcomed the participants and asked them to introduce themselves one at a time.

  2. Round table

    The participants attending in the room and via videoconference introduced themselves.

  3. Approval of the minutes of the last meeting, October 12, 2016

    The minutes of the CRTC-OLMC meeting on October 12, 2016, were approved.

  4. Presentation on the National Campus and Community Radio Association

    Barry Rooke, Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCCRA), gave a presentation on the composition and mandate of the NCCRA. He provided examples of projects the NCCRA had carried out in partnership with local stations in an OLMC.

  5. Follow-up on the CIPF policy

    A discussion was held to get an update on the situation with the Certified Independent Production Funds (CIPF) and OLMCs. Kirwin Cox (QEPC) said that Rogers Funds representatives had been contacted informally. An employee of Rogers Funds had contacted the OLMCs in Moncton. The group discussed the launch of a new fund dedicated to local news on September 1, 2017.

  6. Process for defining the regulatory framework for the new contribution fund for the financing of projects involving access to broadband Internet. The process stems from Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-496.

    Michel Murray, Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation (CRTC), presented the highlights of Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-496 concerning the measures that the Commission was taking to help meet the needs of Canadians so that they could participate in the digital economy and society. He talked about the impact of this direction on Canadians, in particular the OLMCs, including the fact that broadband Internet would be considered a basic telecommunications service, and the next steps. To obtain a copy of the presentation, please submit a request to the CRTC Library.

  7. Upcoming CRTC processes

    CRTC staff presented to the group the Commission’s next relevant processes for official language minority communities (OLMCs).

    Renewal of licences for broadcasting distribution undertakings

    Jean-Pierre Lefebvre, Manager, Distribution Compliance, Broadcasting (CRTC), said that the Commission was in the second phase of renewing licences for broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs). This second phase would involve a more in-depth review of compliance by the BDUs, including community television.

    Carol Ann Pilon (FCCF) asked when the CBC renewal would take place.

    Sheehan Carter, Senior Manager, English-Language Television (CRTC), answered that the CBC’s licences expired on August 31, 2018.

    Renewal of television service licences

    Frédéric Janelle said that the Commission was reviewing the broadcast licences of the major television groups in both official languages. The appearing hearings had been held from November 22 to 24, 2016, in Laval, for the French-language groups and from November 28 to December 2, 2016, in Gatineau, for the English-language groups. The Commission would implement certain policy decisions set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-86 (Let’s Talk TV).

    Renewal of radio services

    Sébastien Robillard, Senior Radio Analyst (CRTC), said that the licences of a number of radio stations would be renewed in 2017 and that the Commission was currently studying their files. He said that the licence for CHPL-FM Plamondon and the CBC transmitter for CBEF-FM Windsor in Sarnia would be renewed in the coming year. He also said that some licences had been granted for new radio stations to serve Edmonton, including a French-language FM radio station.

  8. Topics for the next meeting

    Frédéric Janelle proposed that Canadian Heritage be invited to come speak to the CRTC-OLMC discussion group about their cultural policy and files pertaining to OLMCs. The members approved the idea. Frédéric mentioned the possibility that Canadian Heritage might present an overview of the OLMCs by province.

    Réné Savoie (NBPA) wanted to explore the possibility of starting a fund for OLMCs only.

    Frédéric Janelle said that it would be difficult to finance the fund and that the OLMCs would have more success by talking with existing funds directly.

    Kirwan Cox (QEPC) gave his views on advertising and his target audience. He would like to include advertising as programming. He talked about the need for essential regulation to preserve the OLMCs, and that the current market was not succeeding. Mr. Cox also said that he had sent a letter to the Secretary General to have the CRTC collect information on the OLMCs.

  9. Other business and closing remarks

    Frédéric Janelle closed the meeting and thanked the participants. The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

List of Participants

In person

Via teleconference

CRTC staff

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