ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 19 — September 12, 2012

Registration

SI/2012-69 September 12, 2012

BROADCASTING ACT

Order Declining to Refer Back to the CRTC Decision CRTC 2012-308

P.C. 2012-1043 August 20, 2012

Whereas the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“the Commission”) rendered Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-308 on May 24, 2012, in which it approved

  • (a) an application by Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new ethnic commercial FM radio programming undertaking to serve Calgary, Alberta on frequency 106.7 MHz, channel 294B, with an average effective radiated power of 1,100 watts; and

  • (b) an application by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership (“Pattison”), for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking to serve Calgary, Alberta on frequency 95.3 MHz, channel 237C1, with an average effective radiated power of 36,000 watts;

Whereas, subsequent to the rendering of that Decision, the Governor in Council received a petition requesting that the decisions to approve the applications by Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. and Pattison be set aside or referred back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing of the matters;

And whereas the Governor in Council, having considered the petition, is not satisfied that the decisions to approve those applications derogate from the attainment of the objectives of the Canadian broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act (see footnote a);

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, pursuant to section 28 of the Broadcasting Act (see footnote b), declines to set aside or refer back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-308 of May 24, 2012.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

To respond, by the statutory deadline of August 22, 2012, to a petition requesting the Governor in Council to set aside, or refer back to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for reconsideration and hearing, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-308, pursuant to section 28 of the Broadcasting Act.

Objectives

  • To communicate that the Government is not satisfied that Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-308 derogates from the attainment of the policy objectives set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act.
  • To allow the launch of two new radio services in Calgary to proceed, one ethnic and one English-language.

Background

On June 30, 2011, the CRTC announced that it had received an application by Harvard Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial radio service for Calgary and called for applications from other parties wishing to obtain a radio licence (or licences) to serve this area. Among its eligibility criteria for the public hearing, the CRTC requested that all frequencies proposed by the applicants be deemed technically acceptable by Industry Canada prior to the hearing. The CRTC received 11 competing applications that were considered at a public hearing held in Calgary in February 2012.

On May 24, 2012, the CRTC issued Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-308, in which it approved two applications: Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. (MBC) received a broadcasting licence to operate a new ethnic commercial radio station at106.7 FM; and Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership (Pattison) received a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language commercial radio station at 95.3 FM. The CRTC denied the other nine competing applications.

The CRTC evaluated all 11 applications to serve the Calgary market in light of the following factors, as set out in Decision CRTC 1999-480: the quality of the application; the diversity of news voices in the Calgary radio market; the level of market impact; and competitive balance. After considering the applications in light of these criteria, the CRTC found that the proposals by MBC and Pattison best met the needs of the Calgary radio market.

A petition was received in June 2012 requesting that the Governor in Council set aside, or refer back for reconsideration and hearing, the CRTC decision to issue these two licences. In the petitioners’ view, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-308 derogated from the attainment of the policy objectives set out in subsection 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act, most notably subparagraph 3(1)(d)(iii) which states that the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect, among other things, the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society.

Under section 28 of the Broadcasting Act, the Governor in Council may set aside a CRTC decision to issue a broadcasting licence or refer it back to the CRTC for reconsideration and hearing only if the Governor in Council is satisfied that it derogates from the attainment of the broadcasting policy objectives set out in the Broadcasting Act. In the present case, the Governor in Council was not satisfied that the decision derogated.

Implications

Allowing the launch of the two new commercial FM stations in Calgary, one ethnic and one English-language, is expected to bring increased programming diversity and an increased diversity of radio voices to the Calgary market, as well as new support for local Canadian content development.

Departmental contact

Scott Shortliffe
Deputy Director General
Broadcasting and Digital Communications Branch
Department of Canadian Heritage
Telephone: 819-997-9058

Footnote a
S.C. 1991, c. 11

Footnote b
S.C. 1991, c. 11