Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.
Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.
On April 5, the CRTC approved the application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. for an FM radio station in Edmonton that would feature programming in English and Aboriginal languages (English- and Aboriginal-language Native Type B FM). The applicant proposed to operate the station at 89.3 MHz (channel 207C1) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. AVR was the licensee of a Native FM radio station in Toronto and the Commission had approved applications by AVR for additional radio stations to be operated in Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo and Montréal. AVR was also the licensee of Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (AVRN), which would distribute the programming of its Toronto station to other AVR radio stations. The programming proposed for the Edmonton station would be primarily that of AVRN, originating with the Toronto station. The network planned to address the needs, interests and concerns of Aboriginal Canadians, particularly those living in urban areas. AVRN proposed to provide programming primarily in English, with regular broadcasts in many Native languages, as well as French, Spanish and other languages.
CKAV-FM-4 began broadcasting.
On June 25, the CRTC revoked the broadcasting licences for the Type B Native radio stations CKAV-FM Toronto, CKAV-FM-2 Vancouver, CKAV-FM-3 Calgary, CKAV-FM-4 Edmonton and CKAV-FM-9 Ottawa held by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., effective 25 July 2015. The licensee would have to cease broadcasting by no later than the end of the broadcast day on that date. The Commission’s decision to revoke was based on AVR’s repeated and serious non-compliance with its regulatory obligations over four consecutive licence terms, as well as the Commission’s complete lack of confidence in the licensee’s ability to broadcast in compliance with those obligations going forward and therefore meet the unique needs of Aboriginal people. For the most recent licence term, AVR admitted to the following instances of non-compliance at the 13 May 2015 public hearing: failure to file complete and accurate program logs and logger tapes, failure to file annual returns for the 2013-2014 broadcast year for its five stations, failure to broadcast regular daily local newscasts on each station that included at least five distinct local news stories of direct and particular relevance to the Aboriginal community within the market served, failure to file complete annual updates on the achievement of its business objectives, and failure to file audited financial statements for each of its stations.
The Federal Court of Appeal granted Aboriginal Voices Radio a reprieve to the CRTC’s order that it shut down its radio stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. The four stations would remain on the air until a final disposition of the matter.