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Archived - Opening remarks by Jean-Pierre Blais at the public hearing to examine applications to renew the licences of various radio stations

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Gatineau, Quebec
May 13, 2015

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Check against delivery

Good morning and welcome to this public hearing.

At this hearing, we will examine applications to renew the licences of a number of radio stations that appear to be in non-compliance with the CRTC’s Radio Regulations, 1986, as well as with certain conditions of licence and mandatory orders.

Aboriginal Voices Radio

The panel will begin by examining Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.’s application to renew the licences of five Native Type B station operating in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa. This broadcaster is currently subject to a third consecutive short-term licence renewal due to past non-compliance issues and the CRTC’s concerns about the performance of its stations.

It appears that Aboriginal Voices Radio continues to be in non-compliance with several sections of the regulations and its conditions of licence. In addition, the CRTC remains concerned that it is not providing the quality service it proposed and, as a result, that Aboriginal peoples in Canada’s urban centres are not being well served.

We intend to discuss with Aboriginal Voices Radio its apparent non-compliance, the funding of its stations, the viability of its business plan and its capacity to provide a quality service to the Aboriginal community in its current markets, including local newscasts and spoken-word programming.

Salt Spring Island Radio

The panel will then examine the applications to renew the licence of CFSI-FM Salt Spring Island and effect a change in ownership.

This broadcaster appeared before the CRTC in January 2014 to discuss its non-compliance with the sections of the regulations relating to the filing of program logs, logger tapes and music lists. The CRTC subsequently issued several mandatory orders requiring CFSI-FM to comply with the sections of the regulations in question.

It appears that the broadcaster may have failed to comply with some of these mandatory orders. It also appears that it may have failed to comply with regulations concerning the submission of annual returns and contributions to support the development of Canadian content, among others.

CIHS-FM Wetaskiwin

Finally, we will examine the application to renew the licence of CIHS-FM Wetaskiwin, a station in Alberta.

It appears that this broadcaster may have failed to comply with the sections of the regulations concerning the submission of annual returns, contributions to support the development of Canadian content and the filing of program logs, logger tapes and music lists.

Possible measures

Given the severity and frequency of the instances of apparent non-compliance observed in their current licence terms, the CRTC has called Aboriginal Voices Radio, CFSI-FM Salt Spring Island and CIHS-FM Wetaskiwin to this public hearing. The CRTC expects the broadcasters to show cause why:

  • mandatory orders should not be issued or reimposed further to section 12(2) of the Broadcasting Act;
  • the CRTC should renew a licence or alternatively, should not suspend or revoke the licence further to sections 9 and 24 of the Act.

A broadcasting licence is a privilege. This hearing will consider whether these particular licensees deserve to continue benefiting from that privilege.

Process

The panel for this hearing consists of:

  • Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting
  • Peter Menzies, Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications
  • and myself, Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC and hearing chair.

The Commission team assisting us includes:

  • Joe Aguiar, Hearing Manager and Manager of English Radio Operations
  • Crystal Hulley and Adam Balkovec, Legal Counsel, and
  • Jade Roy, Hearing Secretary and Supervisor, Public Hearings.

I now invite the Hearing Secretary, Jade Roy, to explain the procedures we will be following. Madam Secretary...

 

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