The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued a Public Notice calling for comments on a new radio service planned for Greater Vernon.
The notice states, “The Commission is seeking comment on market capacity and the appropriateness of issuing a call for radio applications to serve Vernon. The Commission encourages interested persons, as well as the applicant, to submit additional information that it will take into consideration before making a final determination on whether it should proceed with a call for applications.”
Vernon Community Radio Society president Gord Leighton said a call for comments is not a surprise.
“The Commission wants to ensure that the market can sustain a new station and they have an obligation to determine if there are other interested parties,” said Leighton, adding the local not-for-profit society will be responding to the Commission’s call for comments and will argue that while the market can sustain a new non-profit station, it is unlikely to be able to support both a new commercial station as well as a community station.
The CRTC will receive comments until March 1 and will receive replies to publicly filed comments until March 18. After that, said Leighton, the commission has three options.
“They may choose to add the Vernon Community Radio Society’s application as a non-appearing item in a forthcoming notice of public hearing, or they may determine that the market can support a new commercial station and will follow with a call for applications, or lastly, they can determine that the market cannot support any new station and return the current application to the proponents,” said Leighton.
“I am hopeful that both the Commission and potential commercial applicants choose a conservative and cautious approach that will support community radio as a priority over a new commercial entrant to the market.
Leighton said his Valley FM (proposed name for community station) team will now coordinate a campaign for positive local interventions.
The full text of the CRTC Notice is available at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2019/2019-25.htm.
For further information, contact Gord Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 250-306-1087.