ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-549
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Route reference: 2011-188
Ottawa, 31 August 2011
Radio Péninsule inc.
Pokemouche, New Brunswick
Application 2011-0098-2, received 24 January 2011
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
17 May 2011
CKRO-FM Pokemouche – Licence renewal
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the French-language community radio station CKRO-FM Pokemouche from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2015. This short-term renewal will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986.
1. The Commission received an application by Radio Péninsule inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for the French-language community radio programming undertaking CKRO-FM Pokemouche, which expires 31 August 2011. The Commission did not receive any interventions in connection with this application.
2. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2011-188, the Commission indicated that the licensee was in apparent non-compliance with section 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), which relates to the requirement to submit annual returns, for the 2007-2008 to 2009-2010 broadcast years. The Commission also indicated that it intended to inquire into this matter at the hearing and expected the licensee to show cause why a mandatory order requiring it to comply with section 9(2) of the Regulations should not be issued. Furthermore, the Commission noted that in Broadcasting Decision 2007-218, the station was granted a four-year short term renewal, until 31 August 2011, based on its non-compliance with its condition of licence requiring that at least 5% of all musical selections played each broadcast week be drawn from content category 3 (Special Interest Music).
3. The instances of non-compliance being examined in this licence renewal proceeding relate to the filing of annual returns. Pursuant to section 9(2) of the Regulations, licensees are required to file, on or before 30 November of each year, their annual return for the broadcast year ending the previous 31 August. Licensees must include the station’s financial statements with the annual return. The Commission notes that the annual returns for the 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 broadcast years were filed late, specifically, on 30 March 2009 for the 2007-2008 broadcast year, on 4 March 2011 for the 2008-2009 broadcast year, and on 3 February 2011 for the 2009-2010 broadcast year. Also, the annual return for the 2009-2010 broadcast year did not include financial statements for the broadcast year as of the date of filing. The 2009-2010 financial statements were submitted on 8 March 2011 in response to a letter of deficiency concerning the application.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
4. In a letter dated 7 March 2011, the licensee stated that, contrary to the alleged failure to file an annual return for the 2008-2009 broadcast year, the return was mailed 9 April 2010, but did admit that the return was still filed late. With respect to the 2009-2010 broadcast year, the licensee stated that it had problems filing its annual return electronically, which would explain the delay.
5. The Commission notes that there were problems with the electronic filing system in November 2010, and that it had given the licensees until 15 December 2010 to file their annual returns. The licensee filed its annual return for that broadcast year on 3 February 2011.
6. At the 17 May public hearing, the licensee explained that to avoid non-compliance with the Regulations, it asked its accounting firm to provide it with financial statements earlier in order to give it sufficient time to file them before 30 November. The Commission also notes the licensee’s statement that its administrative staff is now more aware of the deadline for filing annual returns.
7. The Commission notes that this is the second consecutive licence term in which the licensee was found to be in non-compliance. However, the Commission notes that the licensee has put in place measures to rectify the instance of non-compliance from the previous licence renewal, which related to the broadcast of music drawn from category 3, and it has no further concerns in this respect for this licence renewal. The Commission encourages the licensee to maintain its compliance in this area. The Commission also notes the measures put in place by the licensee to address the problem resulting from its instances of non-compliance relating to the filing of annual returns. The Commission reminds the licensee that it is required at all times to operate its radio station in compliance with the Regulations and with its conditions of licence.
8. In Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2011-347, the Commission announced a revised approach to dealing with radio stations found in non-compliance. The Commission noted in particular that each instance of non-compliance will be evaluated in light of factors such as the quantity, recurrence and seriousness of the non-compliance. The Commission also noted that it will consider the circumstances leading to the non-compliance, the licensee’s arguments and the measures taken to rectify the situation.
9. The Commission also indicated that the possible sanctions include the following: short-term licence renewal, imposition of conditions of licence, mandatory orders, or the non-renewal or suspension of the licence.
10. In light of the foregoing, the Commission considers that it is not necessary to issue a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with section 9(2) of the Regulations.
11. However, in accordance with its revised approach, the Commission considers it appropriate to grant CKRO-FM a short-term licence renewal. Accordingly, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the French-language community radio programming undertaking CKRO-FM Pokemouche from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2015. This short-term renewal will allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Regulations. The licence will be subject to the conditions of licence set out in the appendix to this decision.
Revised approach to non-compliance by radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2011-347, 26 May 2011
Notice of hearing, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-188, 16 March 2011
CKRO-FM Pokemouche – Licence renewal, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-218, 6 July 2007
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-549
Terms, conditions of licence and encouragement for the French-language community radio programming undertaking CKRO-FM Pokemouche
The licence will expire 31 August 2015.
Conditions of licence
The licence will be subject to the conditions set out in New licence form for community radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 2000-157, 16 November 2000, with the exception of conditions 1 and 9.
The licensee shall adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Equitable Portrayal Code, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
The licensee shall, during each broadcast week, devote a minimum of 15% of all programming to material from content category 1 (Spoken word), as set out in Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Public Notice CRTC 2000-14, 28 January 2000, as amended from time to time. All of the spoken word programming shall be locally produced (that is, produced by or exclusively for the licensee).
The licensee shall, during each broadcast week, devote a minimum of 12% of category 3 musical selections (Special Interest Music) to Canadian musical selections broadcast in their entirety. This condition of licence shall expire upon the coming into force of the amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986, relating to the minimum threshold/percentage of Canadian musical selections drawn from content category 3 and broadcast in their entirety by campus and community radio undertakings.
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 licensee to consider these issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
 The annual return for the 2008-2009 broadcast year had not yet been received when the application was received. It was filed 4 March 2011 in response to a deficiency letter concerning this application.
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