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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-116

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-116

Ottawa, 17 April 2003
La Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto inc.
Toronto, Ontario
Application 2002-0244-0
Public Hearing at Toronto, Ontario
17 September 2002

French-language FM community radio station in Toronto

In this decision, the Commission approves the application by La Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto inc. (La Coopérative) for a new Type A French-language FM community radio station in Toronto at 105.1 MHz. The station's primarily musical format and its spoken-word programming will reflect the diversity of the Francophone community in Toronto.

La Coopérative's application is one of four applications for new Toronto radio stations approved today (Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2003-115 to 2003-118). The Commission has also approved an application to change the technical parameters of a transmitter of an existing Toronto ethnic radio station (Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-119). The Commission's general analysis with respect to its consideration of applications for Toronto radio stations considered at the 17 September 2002 public hearing is set out in Introductory statement to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2003-115 to 2003-120: Applications for new radio stations to serve Toronto, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-20, 17 April 2003.

Introduction

1.

On 22 March 2001, the Commission issued Call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on a radio programming undertaking to serve Toronto, Ontario, Public Notice CRTC 2001-39 (the Call). The Call, as amended by Public Notices CRTC 2001-39-1, 15 May 2001; CRTC 2001-39-2, 23 August 2001 and Broadcasting Public Notices CRTC 2001-39-3, 12 February 2002 and CRTC 2001-39-4, 4 March 2002, invited applications for licences to operate AM, FM and/or transitional digital radio programming services that clearly reflect the diversity of languages, as well as the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

2.

In response to the Call, the Commission received 16 applications for new stations to serve the GTA, as well as an application to change the technical parameters of an existing transmitter. One of the applications was by La Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto inc. (La Coopérative) for a broadcasting licence to operate a Type A French-language FM community radio station to serve Toronto at 91.7 MHz (channel 219B1), or alternatively, at 105.1 MHz. The Commission considered the applications in a proceeding that included a public hearing in Toronto held from 17 to 27 September 2002.

3.

In Introductory statement to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2003-115 to 2003-120: Applications for new radio stations to serve Toronto, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-20, 17 April 2003 (the Introductory Statement), the Commission announces that it has approved four applications for new Toronto radio stations, including the application by La Coopérative, as well as an application to change the technical parameters of an existing transmitter. This decision addresses the particulars of La Coopérative's application.

Programming overview

4.

La Coopérative submitted that the station's primarily musical format and spoken word programming will reflect the diversity of the Francophone community in Toronto.

5.

La Coopérative proposed to broadcast 105 hours of programming each broadcast week, of which 88 hours and 50 minutes would be devoted to locally produced programming. The applicant would also have access to 15 hours of network programming from the Réseau Francophone d'Amérique (RFA) and 1 hour and 15 minutes of programming from Radio France International.

6.

In its presentation, the applicant stated that besides the services of Société Radio-Canada (SRC) - 40 hours of local programming provided by La Première Chaîne and all of the programming of La Chaîne culturelle originating in Montréal - there is no French-language commercial or community radio service in Toronto.

7.

La Coopérative stated that its goal is to broadcast distinctive programming that will complement that of the SRC. La Coopérative stated that it will differ from the SRC in that it will offer a more popular musical format aimed at listeners of all ages.

8.

The applicant also pointed out that it would be Toronto's first true community radio undertaking. The applicant added that its programming is designed to equitably represent the diversity of social classes and a range of age, gender, ethnic and religious groups in the GTA. Calling itself a Toronto Francophone radio station, the applicant stated that its programming will reflect the diversity and multi-ethnicity of the Francophone and Francophile community it proposes to serve, including those of African, Maghrebian, Haitian, European and other origins. A condition of licence with respect to the above is set out in the appendix to this decision.

Evaluating the application

9.

As noted in the Introductory Statement, the Commission has considered the merits of the application by La Coopérative in light of the objectives of the Call and the provisions of its Community radio policy, Public Notice CRTC 2000-13, 28 January 2000 (the Community Radio Policy or Public Notice 2000-13).

The Call

10. As stated above, the Commission called for applications that clearly reflect the diversity of languages as well as the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of the GTA.

11.

The Commission notes that La Coopérative proposed to devote its entire broadcast schedule to French-language community radio programming that reflects the diversity of the Francophone community in Toronto.

Community Radio Policy

12. The Community Radio Policy requires that community radio stations provide access to the airwaves for all members of their community and broadcast diverse programming that meets their needs and serves their interests. Programming must include music by new and local talent, music that is normally not broadcast by commercial stations, local information and spoken word programming.
Spoken word

13.

As stated in the Community Radio Policy, the Commission expects that Type A stations devote at least 15% of the programming aired in each broadcast week to community-oriented spoken word programming.

14.

The applicant indicated that its spoken word programming will be in the French language and will cover subjects of interest to the community, such as travel, film, women's issues, retirement, sports, parenting, and stories for children, etc.

15.

La Coopérative further indicated that its partnership agreement with the RFA will give listeners of the new station access to 15 hours of programming from other French-language radio stations in Canada and allow listeners in other parts of Canada to hear 4 hours of programming from the new French-language station in Toronto.

16.

Finally, La Coopérative has entered into agreements with other organizations such as Télévision éducative et culturelle de l'Ontario français (TFO), the Salon du livre, Ciné-franco and Franco-Fête. La Coopérative indicated its intention to provide live coverage of various events and activities within the community, for example, the Toronto Salon du livre. It intends to cover community events that are not usually covered by the SRC.

17.

The Commission notes that the applicant's commitments relating to spoken word programming are consistent with the status of a community radio station.

18.

A condition of licence with respect to the requirement that 15% of programming be devoted to content category 1 (spoken word) programming is set out in the appendix to this decision.
Canadian and musical content

19.

Section 2.2(5) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 provides that an "F.M. licensee licensed to operate a campus station, commercial station or community station in the French language shall, in a broadcast week, devote 65% or more of its vocal musical selections from content category 2 to musical selections in the French language broadcast in their entirety."

20.

La Coopérative stated that it will devote at least 70% of its category 2 (popular music) vocal musical selections to French-language titles, which exceeds the minimum requirement. A condition of licence with respect to the above is set out in the appendix to this decision.

21.

According to the applicant, the musical programming will be varied and educational and will reflect the diversity of the Francophone community in the GTA. This French-language community station in a minority environment will foster communication among French-speaking residents of this metropolitan region and will promote their activities. The new station's primarily musical format will expose listeners to the cultures of the various Francophone communities it proposes to serve. As a community station, La Coopérative made a commitment to explore musical styles within major categories that are not currently heard on radio.

22.

At the hearing, La Coopérative also committed to meet the minimum regulatory requirement of 35% Canadian content for category 2 musical selections.

23.

In accordance with the Community Radio Policy, the applicant committed to devote at least 12% of its category 3 musical selections in each broadcast week to Canadian selections.

24.

La Coopérative also made the following commitments:
  • to devote, over the course of the broadcast week, at least 5% of musical selections to category 3 (special interest music) selections; and
  • to devote, over the course of the broadcast week, at least 20% of musical selections to selections other than those in subcategory 21 (popular, rock and dance music).

25.

The Commission reminds the applicant that, under the Community Radio Policy, the licensee of a community radio station cannot decrease or increase the number of broadcast hours per week by more than 20% without prior approval from the Commission.
Canadian talent development

26.

The Commission considers that community stations have an important role to play in the development, support and exposure of local talent. The Commission expects community stations to continue to undertake initiatives to promote and feature music by new Canadian artists, local artists and artists whose music is seldom heard on other stations.

27.

Accordingly, La Coopérative stated that it will "[TRANSLATION] broadcast the works of Canadian Francophone artists and foreign Francophone artists." The applicant also committed, at the hearing, to invest $15,000 per year under an agreement with the Mouvement des intervenants et intervenantes en communication radio de l'Ontario (MICRO), a provincial association of all French-language community radio stations in Ontario. The agreement would essentially consist of a local talent competition held jointly with all MICRO member stations. Each year, the winner of the competition will record a CD with the assistance of the station, and the CD will be aired through the distribution network of the Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique franco-ontariennes.

28.

The Commission is of the view that the initiatives put forward by the applicant relating to Canadian talent development satisfy the requirements of the Community Radio Policy. A condition of licence with respect to the annual contribution of $15,000 for Canadian talent development is set out in the appendix to this decision.

29.

La Coopérative has also entered into an agreement with Canadian Multicultural Radio (CMR), a new commercial ethnic radio station approved today in Ethnic FM Radio Station in Toronto, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-115, 17 April 2003. The agreement will allow Franco-Ontarian artists taking part in the local talent competition to perform at the festival proposed by CMR and to receive a fee for their performance.

30.

The Commission expects that the initiatives related to Canadian talent development set out in the plans filed with the Commission will be implemented.
Station ownership and control

31.

Pursuant to the Community Radio Policy, a community radio station must be owned and controlled by a not-for-profit organization whose structure provides for membership, management, operation and programming primarily by members of the community at large.

32.

The applicant is a not-for-profit body incorporated in Ontario on 5 July 1991.

33.

At the hearing, La Coopérative confirmed its policy of including representatives of the GTA's diverse Francophone community among the station's staff and board of directors and of providing community access to the airwaves. It confirmed that this policy will continue.
Volunteer participation and training

34.

The Community Radio Policy provides that volunteer participation is a key element in the operation of a community radio station. Accordingly, the Commission expects community radio licensees to take the necessary measures to facilitate community access to their programming, promote training in the community, and train and supervise community members who want access to the airwaves.

35.

La Coopérative stated that it is open and prepared to welcome individuals who wish to participate in the development of the station and of Francophonie in general. The applicant stated that over 75 volunteers have contributed to various temporary broadcasts and to the development of the community radio project. It also submitted that the spoken word programming aired from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on weekends will be produced by station volunteers. Musical selections chosen by volunteers will also be broadcast. A number of volunteers have already taken the station's training program and have produced programs aired during temporary broadcast periods associated with the development of the project.

Interventions

36.

The Commission received numerous letters and petitions in support of the application. The Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada (ARC) and MICRO intervened at the hearing. The Commission notes ARC's statement, in particular, which states that the addition of the new station as a member of the RFA, and the access it will provide to the Toronto market, will enable the RFA to increase its revenues and strengthen its operations as well as those of its 18 member stations.

37.

R.B. Communications Ltd. (RBC), licensee of CHOW-FM Welland, appeared at the hearing to oppose La Coopérative's proposal to operate the new community station at 91.7 MHz. RBC argued that the proposed use of 91.7 MHz in Toronto would contravene the Department of Industry's (the Department) technical regulations, the most important being to protect the 65-km contour of the CHOW-FM transmitter to which, according to the intervener, it is entitled, because it would interfere with the CHOW-FM signal. The intervener also stated that the Department confirmed that using that frequency was technically unacceptable.

38.

The Commission notes that to comply with the rules for protecting CHOW-FM's frequency, La Coopérative would have to reduce its power considerably on 91.7 MHz, resulting in much smaller coverage than initially proposed. Responding to questions at the hearing as to the possibility of significantly reducing its power or using its proposed alternative frequency, La Coopérative said it preferred the alternative 105.1 MHz.

The Commission's determination

39.

The Commission is of the view that the proposed French-language community station, given both its musical and spoken-word programming, is consistent with the objectives of Public Notice 2000-13 in that it will provide, within the GTA market, an official language community station in a minority environment, as well as programming that both differs from and complements programming offered by English-language and multilingual commercial stations. Moreover, the Commission considers that the station will make an important contribution to the diversity of the broadcasting system by providing a local French-language programming service, the style and substance of which is different from that offered by the SRC stations in that market, and by offering a wide variety of music and spoken word programming.

40.

Public Notice 2000-13 specifies that programming offered by a community station should be relevant to the communities served, including official language communities in a minority environment. The numerous interventions in support of La Coopérative's application submitted by organizations and individuals of various origins, all of whom have French in common, is evidence of an obvious need for the proposed service.

41.

The Commission is of the view that La Coopérative's application is consistent with the objectives of the Call, in which the Commission invited applications for a broadcasting licence to provide a radio service in Toronto that reflects the diversity of languages as well as the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of the GTA. La Coopérative's proposal to provide a radio service for multi-ethnic French-language communities in a minority environment addresses these considerations.

42.

Finally, the Commission is confident that the proposed community station will not have a negative impact on the audience share or revenues of English-language and multilingual stations serving the GTA market.

43.

In view of the foregoing, the Commission approves the application by La Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto inc. to operate a French-language community radio station in Toronto at 105.1 MHz.

Issuance of the licence

44.

The Commission notes that the applicant in the process of revising its by-laws, adding a clause ensuring that, at all times, at least 80% of the members of La Coopérative will be Canadian citizens pursuant to the requirements of the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of Non-Canadians). The licensee is required to file with the Commission a duly executed copy of its revised by-laws as soon as they are available.

45.

The licence will expire on 31 August 2009 and will be subject to the conditions set out in the appendix to this decision and to the conditions set out in New licence form for community radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 2000-157, 16 November 2000.

46.

The Commission notes that, since other than the SRC's stations, there is no station licensed to broadcast in the same language in all or part of the market to be served by the new station, the licence for the new community radio station will be Type A, pursuant to Public Notice 2000-13.

47.

Given that 105.1 MHz is an alternative frequency proposed by the applicant but subject to technical certification by the Department further to this proceeding, the Commission grants the applicant a period not to exceed two months from the date of this decision to file with the Department a full technical submission and a contour authorization application for the station. If the Department determines that the proposed technical parameters are acceptable, and establishes that those parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services, it will notify the Commission that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

48.

The Commission reminds the applicant that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

49.

Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking 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 17 April 2005. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.

Employment equity

50.

The Commission considers that community radio stations should be particularly sensitive to employment equity issues in order to reflect fully the communities they serve. It encourages the applicant to consider these issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
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

 

 

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-116

 

French-language FM community radio station in Toronto

 

Conditions of licence

  In addition to the conditions set out in New licence form for community radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 2000-157, 16 November 2000, the licence is subject to the following conditions:
  1. The licensee shall devote all of its programming to French-language community radio programming oriented primarily to the various French-language communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
  2. The licensee shall devote, in each broadcast week, at least 15% of its programming to category 1 (spoken word) community-oriented programming.
  3. The licensee shall devote, in each broadcast week, at least 70% of category 2 (popular music) vocal musical selections to French-language musical selections broadcast in their entirety.
  4. The licensee shall devote $15,000 annually to Canadian talent development.

Date Modified: 2003-04-17