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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 85-62

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Decision

Ottawa, 29 January 1985
Decision CRTC 85-62
Radio MF Charlevoix
Baie Saint-Paul, Quebec - 840351100 La Malbaie, Quebec - 841501000Proposed station at Baie Saint-Paul
Following a Public Hearing in Rimouski, Quebec on 5 November 1984, the Commission approves the application for an independent FM licence to carry on a French-language radio station at Baie Saint-Paul, operating on a frequency of 96.3 MHz (Channel 242B) with an effective radiated power of 7,520 watts.
The Commission will issue a licence expiring 30 September 1989, subject to the conditions of licence specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
In accordance with paragraph 22(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence, and the authority granted herein may only be implemented, at such time as written notification is received from the Department of Communications that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate.
Radio MF Charlevoix is a non-profit community organization which has been very active in the Charlevoix area since it was established in 1981. Since the fall of 1982, the applicant has been producing a weekly, one-hour program that is rebroadcast on the Rivière-du-Loup community station, CION-FM, for the residents of Charlevoix. It has also established training courses in radio production for interested groups or individuals, and its extensive involvement in the community has won it public support. This support was vividly expressed at the hearing in the many interventions by community associations and organizations from Charlevoix county, particularly those from Baie Saint-Paul and La Malbaie, which unanimously supported the applications.
Radio service in Charlevoix is provided almost exclusively by outside stations, namely stations broadcasting from the south shore of the St. Lawrence or the Quebec City area. With the exception of CHGB La Pocatière, which has auxiliary studios in Baie Saint-Paul and La Malbaie, no local or regional radio service is available. The Commission considers that the new radio station will provide a regional service that will meet an obvious need of the people of Charlevoix, while increasing the diversity of radio services available in the area by adding a regional Contemporary MOR FM station.
Although it wishes to remain a community-owned and oriented organization, Radio MF Charlevoix has submitted an application for an independent FM licence. It explained at the hearing that the reason for this application was the (TRADUCTION) "need for financial resources combined with the necessity of providing quality services in a vast area lacking in media." The applicant explained that it would broadcast a maximum of eight minutes of advertising material an hour and made a commitment not to solicit advertising on the south shore of the St. Lawrence.
The applicant's plans call for the establishment of a main studio in La Malbaie and an auxiliary studio in Baie Saint-Paul, which would have mobile facilities that could be used to record programs in other areas as required.
Initially, programming would be distributed over a broadcasting period of 86 hours per week. The applicant has promised to broadcast 12% foreground format programming, including nine hours produced locally and one and-a-half hours obtained from other community stations; this meets the minimum requirement for an independent FM station. It also intends to broadcast 45% Canadian Music General selections and 65% French-language vocal music and to promote local artists by rebroadcasting concerts and shows produced in the area. One-third of the time allocated for news will be used to cover local and regional news, which will be gathered by local correspondents. Given the station's community orientation, the Commission urges the licensee to devote more air time to local and regional events.
In view of the fact that this non-profit corporation will be supported, in part, by government loans or grants, the licensee is required to ensure that it retains at all times full control over all management and programming decisions.
The Commission has also taken into consideration the opposing interventions by Radio La Pocatière Ltée, licensee of CHGB La Pocatière and CHGB-FM Rivière-du-Loup (Mont-Bleu), which expressed its concern about greater fragmentation of the market, and by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), which opposed the commercial aspect of the project. With respect to the CAB's intervention regarding procedural concerns, the Commission points out that the applications were submitted in response to a call for applications published on 28 May 1984 (Public Notice CRTC 1984-127).
It is a condition of this licence that construction of the station be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of receipt of written notification from the Department of Communications that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate or such further period as the Commission may, upon receipt of a request for extension before the expiry of the said twelve months, deem appropriate under the circumstances.
Rebroadcasting undertaking at La Malbaie
At the same hearing, Radio MF Charlevoix applied for a licence to carry on a broadcasting undertaking at La Malbaie, operating on a frequency of 99.3 MHz (Channel 257A) with an effective radiated power of 100.7 watts, to rebroadcast the programs of the Baie Saint-Paul station authorized by this decision.
The Commission notes that the Department of Communications (DOC) has not advised that this application is acceptable from a technical point of view. La Malbaie is located within the theoretical 3 mV/m or primary service contour of the authorized station at Baie Saint-Paul. Operating the proposed rebroadcasting transmitter at La Malbaie on the frequency 99.3 MHz would mean that two frequencies would be used to provide the same service to the same area. This would be contrary to the licensing policies of both the Commission and the DOC which, as a general rule, require optimum use of scarce frequencies.
Furthermore, the DOC has noted that the licensee's proposal, as submitted, constitutes an under-utilization of a Class A channel and that channel 257A has been reserved for eventual use by the CBC at La Malbaie. In this regard, the applicant stated at the hearing that it would be willing to change to another frequency if necessary.
The Commission expects the applicant to consult the DOC with respect to the technical problem identified in its application and to inform the Commission of the outcome of the consultations. The Commission will render its decision on the application for a rebroadcaster at La Malbaie upon completion of these consultations and upon receipt of notification from the DOC that the application is technically acceptable.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General