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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 90-206

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Decision

Ottawa, 27 February 1990
Decision CRTC 90-206
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Moncton, Fredericton/Saint John, Neguac, Campbellton, Edmundston, Kedgwick, Saint-Quentin and Rogersville, New Brunswick, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - 890328800
Following a Public Hearing in Moncton, New Brunswick, beginning on 10 April 1989, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for CBAF-FM Moncton and its rebroadcasters CBAF-FM-1 Fredericton/Saint John, CBAF-FM-2 Neguac, CBAF-FM-3 Campbellton, CBAF-FM-4 Edmundston, CBAF-5 Kedgwick, CBAF-6 Saint-Quentin, CBAF-9 Rogersville, and CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown from 1 March 1990 to 31 August 1994 subject to the conditions set out in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
At the Public Hearing, the Corporation emphasized the unique mandate of its regional French-language radio station in Moncton, which serves Francophone communities throughout the four Atlantic provinces. The Commission noted the proposal to broadcast 44 hours 34 minutes of local productions weekly on CBAF-FM, with the remainder of the schedule consisting of the CBC's French-language AM network programming. With regard to network contributions, CBAF-FM plans to produce eight 30-minute programs yearly for "Multipiste", a network program promoting Canada's French-language vocal music artists.
At the public hearing, as in Decision CRTC 88-181 dated 30 March 1988, renewing the Corporation's radio network licences, the Commission inquired as to how CBAF-FM managed to adequately serve several areas which have such diverse interests and to provide local programming which reflects the characteristics and concerns of the people it serves.
The Corporation said it was a tremendous challenge to offer programming that reflects a vast region in which it is the only French-language broadcaster, with the exception of a few areas, like northern New Brunswick, that are also served by a small number of private or community French-language stations. The CBC indicated, however, that since 1986 it has been offering three separate editions of its weekday morning program "Bonjour Atlantique", which airs between 6 and 9 a.m. Two editions are produced in the Moncton studios for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island audiences, while the third is produced in the studios of CBAF-FM-5 Halifax for listeners in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The Corporation added that it maintains staffers in Fredericton, Edmundston, Bathurst, Charlottetown and Halifax, and a stringer in Newfoundland. And, when necessary, journalists travel to various locations in Atlantic Canada to cover major events.
At the hearing, the Commission also asked the CBC about its plans to improve services in its major coverage areas, particularly in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, the two Atlantic provinces in which the Corporation has no production facilities for French-language radio. The Commission noted that the morning program produced in Moncton for the Prince Edward Island audience is not particularly well adapted to listeners' needs; some stories are covered too late, and story content is not always suited to the tastes and interests of PEI residents, especially newscasts and public affairs segments. In addition, the Corporation has still not honoured the pledge it made in 1982 to hire a full-time journalist for Newfoundland.
In reply, the Corporation said that in view of current budgetary restraints, it had adopted a gradual approach which enabled it initially to establish full-time journalists in Halifax and Charlottetown, and subsequently to offer separate programs in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and set up a production centre in Halifax. It also mentioned its efforts to eliminate deficiencies in its news and public affairs programming, particularly in its other regional programs aimed at Atlantic Canada as a whole. Concerning the situation in Newfoundland, the Corporation indicated that it had not been able to establish a full-time journalist in that province because of budget cuts, but this remains a priority.
Given the shortcomings in the Corporation's existing service to outlying areas and the need to provide better coverage, the Commission expects the CBC to be more active in Prince Edward Island and to expand distinct services, including the establishment, as soon as possible, of a storefront operation on the island similar to the Halifax unit. The Commission also expects the Corporation to establish a full-time journalist in Newfoundland in accordance with the commitment noted in Decision CRTC 82-564 dated 23 June 1982. The Commission further encourages the Corporation to make its broadcast facilities available to community groups wishing to offer a local programming service in areas where no other French-language station exists, as it did in the Penetanguishene, Ontario, area before a local radio station was established.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it places on the development of Canadian talent, and it notes CBAF-FM's production of "Au rythme de l'Atlantique", a program devoted entirely to artists from the region. It encourages the CBC to continue its work in this area during the new licence term and, in particular, to expand its efforts to ensure that CBAF-FM plays more new and non-popularized Canadian music, especially selections by artists from the coverage areas concerned, and to improve the Canada-wide distribution of sound recordings by Francophone artists from Atlantic Canada.
It is a condition of licence that, until 31 March 1990, 45% or more and thereafter, 50% or more of the category 5 musical selections broadcast by CBAF-FM each broadcast day shall be Canadian selections and shall be scheduled in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day.
It is a condition of licence that, until 31 March 1990, 15% or more and thereafter, 20% or more of the category 6 musical selections broadcast by CBAF-FM each broadcast week shall be Canadian selections and shall be scheduled in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast week.
It is a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the CBC guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. Until such time as the Commission has approved the revised CBC guidelines, the CBC shall adhere to its current guidelines on sex-role stereotyping (as set out in Part C of Appendix A to Public Notice CRTC 1986-351 dated 22 December 1986) and, as a minimum, to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
The Commission notes the interventions by the following organizations: Société Saint-Thomas d'Aquin, Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Société nationale des Acadiens, Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, Syndicat des annonceur(e)s et employé(e)s professionnel(le)s de bureau/ Association nationale des réalisateurs et réalisatrices, Fédération des Jeunes Francophones du N.B. Inc., Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick, and Conseil de promotion et de diffusion de la culture. While these groups recommended the renewal of the CBC's licences in Atlantic Canada, they felt the Corporation should continue to improve its services and better reflect the characteristics and needs of the Acadian people through its regional programming. They proposed assigning more journalists to the northern and northeastern parts of New Brunswick, southwestern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and Newfoundland, establishing a production studio in Prince Edward Island, producing separate daily programming for Newfoundland, including Labrador, and a regional youth program, and increasing program output in Halifax.
The Commission noted the Corporation's replies to these interventions, including the statement that its regional priorities for the coming years will be improving news services and increasing the number of journalists, improving existing programs, and expanding musical and dramatic production. With regard to the coverage deficiencies of station CBAF-FM-2 Neguac/Allardville, as outlined in the interventions by the Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick and Matthieu Duguay, the Corporation indicated that the solution lay in the installation of a new retransmitter to improve coverage in this part of northeastern New Brunswick, and that this will be considered a high priority when funds become available.
The Commission also noted the interventions by Sheldon Lee, Minister of Transportation of New Brunswick, Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick, Conseil de promotion et de diffusion de la culture, and Syndicat des annonceur(e)s et employé(e)s professionnel(le)s de bureau/Association nationale des réalisateurs et réalisatrices, favouring the continued duplication of the CBAF Moncton service on the AM and FM bands. In Decision CRTC 87-569 concerning the CBAF duplication, the Commission indicated that it would tolerate a duplication of services in Moncton only in the most extraordinary circumstances. The Commission notes that in the CBC's reply to these interventions it referred to that decision and gave reasons why it had not filed an application to renew the AM licence for CBAF, and thereby ceased the duplication of service. The Commission notes that the Corporation has not been operating CBAF on the AM band since 31 August 1989.
The Commission also took into account concerns expressed regarding the areas of Port Elgin and Amherst, Nova Scotia. Previously, CBAF's AM signal could be received during the day in these two areas; but, since CBAF went off the air, service has apparently been inadequate. In response to a Commission request at the hearing, the Corporation filed a report which, in fact, confirms CBAF-FM's coverage deficiencies in the Port Elgin and Amherst areas. The Commission expects the Corporation to consider all available options with a view to rectifying the problem, and will resume discussions on this issue with the CBC in the near future.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General