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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 90-235

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Decision

Ottawa, 14 March 1990
Decision CRTC 90-235
CION-FM Inc.
Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec - 883675100
Following a Public Hearing in Quebec City beginning on 5 December 1989, the Commission denies the application to amend the broadcasting licence for CION-FM Rivière-du-Loup by relocating the transmitter site from Mont Bleu on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River to Mont Grand-Fonds in Charlevoix County on the north shore approximately 62 kilometres northwest of the currently authorized site.
This licence amendment application was announced in Public Notice CRTC 1989-37 dated 26 April 1989. A number of interventions were received, including six opposing interventions from broadcasters in the area. The application was then placed on the agenda of the Public Hearing scheduled to begin on 5 December 1989 in Quebec City so that all interested parties could express their views in greater detail.
The Commission authorized the operation of CION-FM Rivière-du-Loup on 4 November 1988 (Decision CRTC 88-794), and this licence amendment application was submitted on 20 December 1988. In addressing the fact that the station is not yet on the air, the licensee explained at the Public Hearing that it had decided to delay implementation of the authority granted by the Commission on 4 November 1988 until the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled on the appeal relating to Decision CRTC 88-794 which is before the court.
The licensee reiterated that it had purchased the transmission facilities of the former community radio station in Rivière-du-Loup, and that the proposed amendment was intended to rectify the coverage problems which plagued the community station while it was transmitting from Mont Bleu. To substantiate its application, the licensee pointed out that, as it had pledged not to solicit advertising on the north shore, its principal market would be located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, and the best way to improve its coverage on the south shore would be to transmit from the north shore. The applicant added that the enhancement of its signal quality in its principal market would provide more effective protection against the growing encroachment of FM stations from peripheral markets, and would constitute a more efficient utilization of the authorized frequency.
Having closely examined all aspects of this application, the Commission determined that the licensee has not produced enough concrete evidence to justify the amendment proposed.
In its original application, which was approved in 1988, the licensee indicated that its primary market is the Grand-Portage area, which includes the regional county municipalities of Basques, Kamouraska, Rivière-du-Loup and Témiscouata. The Commission is particularly concerned about the potential effectsof the amendment on the station's original role, as defined in 1988, in terms of the communities to be served. While the licensee said its principal market is located on the south shore, it proposes to shift its service contour a considerable distance to the northwest. This relocation may substantially diminish the station's coverage on the south shore, especially in the Témiscouata area. The Commission notes in this regard that many intervenors from this area supported the original application in 1988.
The Commission also took into consideration the fact that the station has not yet commenced broadcast operations, and that the licensee was unable to produce concrete evidence of inadequate signal quality in any part of its service area. In addition, the Commission believes that the licensee has not investigated all available means of rectifying this problem, should the problem exist, and, consequently, that the licensee has not demonstrated that this proposal represents the best or only solution in the circumstances.
The Commission notes the opposing interventions by CFIX-FM 97 Inc., Radio MF Charlevoix Inc., La Radio Communautaire du Comté, Diffusion Power Inc., Radio La Pocatière Ltée, CJFP/CIBM-FM Rivière-du-Loup, and the Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses en Communications du KRT, as well as the interventions submitted by the municipalities of Cabano and La Pocatière, the Chamber of Commerce of Rivière-du-Loup, and the Corporation de développement économique du Kamouraska.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General