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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 94-813

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Decision

Ottawa, 14 October 1994
Decision CRTC 94-813
Radio Ville-Marie
Montréal, Quebec - 931605000

New religious radio programming undertaking

Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region beginning on 20 June 1994, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for a predo-
minantly religious French-language FM radio programming undertaking (Group III) at Montréal, on the frequency 91.3 MHz, channel 217C, with an effective radiated power of 36,200 watts.
The Commission will issue a licence expiring on 31 August 1999, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
The licence term granted herein, while less than the maximum of seven years permitted under the Broadcasting Act, will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence in accordance with the Commission's regional plan and to better distribute the workload within the Commission.

Background

In Public Notice CRTC 1993-78 dated 3 June 1993, the Commission announced its new policy on religious broadcasting, which is essentially based on recognition of alternative values and the importance of balance in matters of public concern. While it allows greater flexibility in the licensing of religious programming services, the policy also recognizes the concerns and requirements of the Commission in this regard and sets out application assessment criteria relating to programming, complementarity within the market, ethics, and foreign programs. And, although the Commission will no longer expect an applicant seeking a licence to carry on a new radio undertaking for the broadcast of religious programming to have a multifaith ownership and management structure, the proposed programming must adequately meet the needs of the community it serves.
The Commission considers that Radio Ville-Marie's application complies with all elements of the new policy and even exceeds some of its expectations, indicating a thorough understanding of the Commission's goals in developing this policy.
Radio Ville-Marie is a non-profit organization registered with Revenue Canada as a charity, and whose goal is to provide a broadcasting service primarily devoted to religious programs with a Christian and ecumenical orientation, and open to the spiritual movements of the day.
The applicant filed a plan for the training and supervision of its volunteer staff which is structured so as to facilitate the progressive integration of volunteers into the station's production and broadcast operations under the supervision of volunteers who have extensive experience in producing radio programs.

Programming

It is a condition of licence that a majority of the broadcast week be devoted to broadcasting religious programming as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1993-78.
The applicant committed to broadcasting 60 hours a week of local programming. The proposed programming differs from other FM radio programming services available in the Montréal market in that it will focus in a very large proportion on religious subjects, and will have a thematic and pedagogical approach for its overall programming.

Ethics

It is a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the guidelines on ethics for religious programming set out in Public Notice CRTC 1993-78 regarding solicitation of funds and religious programming practices.
The Commission notes in this regard that the applicant established a code of ethics for the station's religious programming [TRANSLATION] "in order to respond in general to the religious needs and interests of the public in Greater Montréal...". Radio Ville-Marie intends to broadcast several magazine or documentary programs on different religions. It also established control mechanisms, which the Commission considers satisfactory, to ensure equitable allocation of broadcast time for spoken word programming and, generally speaking, to maintain a balance of points of view in its programming, particularly religious programs.

Advertising

It is a condition of licence that the applicant broadcast no more than 6 minutes of advertising in every hour of broadcast, and that it broadcast no more than an average of 4 minutes of advertising per hour of broadcast up to a total of 504 minutes of advertising per week.

Other Matters

It is a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) "Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
It is also a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the provisions of the CAB's "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. It encourages the applicant to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
This approval is subject to the requirement that construction of the undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision, or where the applicant applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete construction and commence operations before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission.
Should construction not be completed within the period stipulated in this decision or, should the Commission refuse to approve an extension of time requested by the licensee, the authority granted shall lapse and become null and void upon expiry of the period of time granted herein or upon the termination of the last approved extension period.
The Department of Industry, Science and Technology (DIST) has advised the Commission that this application is conditionally technically acceptable, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will only be issued once it has been determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.
In accordance with subsection 22(1) 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 DIST that its technical requirements have been met, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued.

Interventions

The Commission acknowledges the intervention of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stating that the technical parameters proposed for the new service will cause interference harmful to the signal of CBO-FM Ottawa. The Commission notes that the applicant has expressed its willingness to consider all mutually acceptable solutions if this occurs.
The Commission also acknowledges the interventions in opposition to this application filed by the National Campus/Community Radio Association, CIBL-FM, Communications Michel Mathieu, Radio McGill (CKUT-FM), and Sphères Communications Inc. The Commission is satisfied with the licensee's replies to these interventions.
The Commission also acknowledges the intervention of the Canadian Centre for Law and Justice in support of this application.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General