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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-339

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-339

Ottawa, 6 November 2002

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia

Application 2002-0341-4
Public Notice CRTC 2002-28
29 May 2002

CBC Vancouver - Addition of a transmitter

The Commission approves the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add a transmitter, in Victoria, in order to rebroadcast the programming of its national French-language network service La Chaîne culturelle originating from the CBC's French-language Vancouver station.

Background

1.

In Licences for CBC French-language television and radio networks renewed for a seven-year term, Decision CRTC 2000-2, 6 January 2000 (Decision 2000-2), the Commission renewed the licences of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) French-language radio networks for a seven-year period. The Commission also expected the CBC to extend, by the end of the licence term, coverage of La Chaîne culturelle to at least 50% of the French-speaking population of each province and to all the provincial capitals.

2.

In Revised technical parameters for the new transmitter of CBUF-FM at Victoria -Denied, Decision CRTC 2001-316, 5 June 2001 (Decision 2001-316), the Commission denied the CBC's application to use 88.9 MHz to rebroadcast the programming of La Première Chaîne. The Commission noted that "88.9 MHz is the only remaining FM frequency in Victoria that is suitable for transmitting a stereo service" and that "using 88.9 MHz for La Première Chaîne, which is a monaural service, would make it impossible to establish a transmitter that would provide Victoria with a full and reliable stereo signal from La Chaîne culturelle on the FM band."

The application

3.

The CBC filed an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the French-language FM broadcasting undertaking in Vancouver to add a transmitter in Victoria at 88.9 MHz (channel 205C1) with an effective radiated power of 3,200 watts, in order to rebroadcast the programming of the national French-language network La Chaîne culturelle. The applicant filed this application in response to the Commission's expectations set out in Decision 2000-2, namely to extend its service coverage to at least 50% of the French-speaking population of each province.

Intervention

4.

Jacques P. Vallée submitted an intervention, on behalf of Comité Radio Victoria (CRV), opposing the CBC's application. The intervener informed the Commission that he intended to file, in the near future, an application for a licence to operate a community radio station in Victoria, for which he planned to use the 88.9 MHz frequency.

5.

The intervener claimed that the CBC's French-language Vancouver station already serves over 50% of British Columbia's Francophones and that the additional transmitter was, therefore, unnecessary.

6.

According to Mr. Vallée, adding a transmitter in Victoria to rebroadcast the CBC programming originating from Vancouver would not meet the needs of the Victoria community. The intervener argued that the establishment of a French-language community radio station in Victoria, based on community participation, would, however, contribute to the development and vitality of the local French-speaking minority.

7.

Finally, the intervener proposed that the CBC use lower-power frequencies [translation] "by strategically placing three towers around Victoria to broadcast the signal," a solution that could not be adopted by the CRV because of the prohibitive cost involved. As an alternate solution, the intervener suggested that the Commission ask the Department of Industry (the Department) to identify new Class A frequencies in Victoria, as it did for Toronto.

The applicant's reply

8.

With respect to the intervener's claim that the CBC already serves over 50% of British Columbia's Francophones, the applicant explained that only 45% of Francophones are currently served by La Chaîne culturelle and that the present application would allow it to reach an additional 11%. The applicant also pointed out that its application is aimed at meeting the expectations that the Commission set out in Decision 2000-2, to extend coverage of La Chaîne culturelle to at least 50% of the French-speaking population of each province and to all the provincial capitals.

9.

With respect to the 88.9 MHz frequency, the CBC stated that the CRV proposal would not constitute optimum use of the frequency because the intervener proposed to operate a smaller Class A facility, while the frequency is, in fact, allocated as a Class C. The applicant also submitted that its proposal is consistent with Decision 2001-316, in which the Commission [translation] "clearly indicated that it expected the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to use frequency 88.9 MHz to broadcast La Chaîne culturelle service at Victoria."

10.

In reply to the CRV's proposal to use three different frequencies to cover Victoria, the applicant indicated that [translation] "it would be an unreasonable use of the spectrum in this area," that this solution [translation] "would involve additional investment and recurring operating expenses" and that it would be [translation] "unsuitable for mobile listeners."

11.

Finally, the CBC encouraged the intervener to reconsider its choice of frequency, given its application has not yet been filed.

The Commission's analysis and conclusion

12.

The Commission has considered the arguments submitted by the CBC and the CRV with respect to the use of the 88.9 MHz frequency. The Commission is satisfied with the CBC's reply to the intervener and agrees that the CBC's application meets the expectations set out in Decisions 2000-2 and 2001-316. Moreover, given that section 3(1)(m)(vii) of the Broadcasting Act (the Act) specifies that the programming provided by the CBC should "be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose," and taking into account the fact that 88.9 MHz is the only remaining frequency in Victoria suitable for a stereo service, in particular, the Commission concludes that the use of this frequency by the CBC is appropriate and in the public interest.

13.

Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by the CBC to amend the licence of its new French-language FM station in Vancouver to add an FM transmitter in Victoria, operating at 88.9 MHz (channel 205C1), with an effective radiated power of 3,200 watts, to rebroadcast La Chaîne culturelle programming.

14.

The Commission reminds the CBC that, in the programming of the Vancouver station, it should take into account the fact that the station also serves Victoria.

15.

The Department has advised the Commission that, while this application is conditionally technically acceptable, it will only issue a broadcasting certificate when it has determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.

16.

The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

17.

The transmitter must be operational at the earliest possible date, and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 6 November 2004. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before this date.

Other matter

18.

The Commission encourages the CRV to find another frequency for its proposed community service and to file an application to serve the French-speaking community in Victoria.

Secretary General

This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site: www.crtc.gc.ca

Date Modified: 2002-11-06