CIMI-FM, French Community, Charlesbourg

Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles

CIMI-FM2001103.720Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles


On March 5, the CRTC approved the application by Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles for a broadcasting licence for a Type B French-language FM community radio programming undertaking at Charlesbourg. The licence would be held by a not-for-profit organization whose structure provided for membership, management, operation and programming by members of the community at large. The Board of Directors, headed by Stéphane Tremblay, was ultimately responsible for adherence to the Radio Regulations, 1986 and the station’s conditions of licence. Once it had developed to full production capacity, the licensee planned to offer 120 hours each week of local, station-produced programming. This programming would include two minutes each hour of local and regional newscasts broadcast between 1 and 4 p.m., a one-hour program of community and local information at noon and two major newscasts of more than five minutes broadcast between 4 and 6 p.m. In accordance with the requirements of the Community radio policy, the applicant made the commitment to devote 50% of its news programming time to local news and 50% to regional news, during each broadcast week. The applicant committed to meet the new requirements with respect to the percentage of Canadian musical selections from category 2 (35%) and category 3 (12%) that community and campus radio stations must broadcast each broadcast week. In the area of Canadian talent development, the licensee committed to assist new local artists by allowing them to tape demos that would then be aired by the station. These demos would be produced in the station’s studios and the artists who were most popular would be invited to an annual talent show sponsored by the station. The station would offer training to those members of the community who wished to have access to the airwaves. In addition, listeners would be given the opportunity, on a regular basis, to join guided tours of the station to learn about community radio and the workings of the station itself. The licence would expire August 31, 2007 and the station would broadcast on frequency 103.7 MHz, channel 279A1, with an effective radiated power of 20 watts. CIMI-FM signed on the air at 4:15 p.m., August 10. Philippe Bélanger was program director.


On July 2, popular talk show host André Arthur joined the CIMI-FM air staff after being dismissed by CJMF-FM the previous November. In August, Arthur moved to CKNU-FM Donnacona but his broadcast from that station was simulcast over CIMI.


François Beaulé began running CIMI-FM after being with CHRC-AM Quebec.


François Beaulé left the station in the summer.


On August 10, the CRTC denied the application by Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles to amend the licence of CIMI-FM by changing the frequency from 103.7 MHz (channel 279A1) to 106.9 MHz (channel 295B1). The licensee also proposed to change the authorized contours by increasingthe effective radiated power from 20 watts to an average effective radiated power of 4,120 watts, by increasing the antenna height and by relocating the transmitter by approximately 5 km to Mont Reine-Malouin in Charlesbourg (maximum effective radiated power of 6,550 watts/antenna height of 192.2 metres). The authorized contours of the station would be increased significantly. As a result of the proposed changes to the technical parameters, the authorized contours would encompass the city of Québec. The station could be considered a station serving the Québec market, including Charlesbourg. The Commission noted that it had received a number of complaints regarding the verbal content of certain programs hosted by André Arthur and broadcast on CIMI-FM.


On August 23, the CRTC renewed the licence for CIMI-FM to August 31, 2011. This short-term renewal would enable the Commission to assess, at an earlier date, the licensee’s compliance with the provisions of the Radio Regulations.


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CIMI-FM until August 31, 2012. The Commission noted that licence renewal applications for this station had not been received. If the licence renewal application was not been received by November 30, 2011, the Commission may not renew the licence further.


On June 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CIMI-FM until November 30, 2012. On September 5, the CRTC denied the application by Radio Charlesbourg/Haute St-Charles (Radio Charlesbourg) to renew the broadcasting licence for French-language community radio station CIMI-FM Charlesbourg. Given the seriousness and recurrence of current and past non-compliance, Radio Charlesbourg’s inability to implement the measures necessary for the station’s recovery during the past few years, its own doubts about the possibility of receiving enough support from the community to re-launch the station, and the inadequate plans for the next licence term, the Commission concluded that non-renewal of the licence was the only possible measure to take under the circumstances. The existing licence would expire November 30, 2012. The Commission approved Radio Charlesbourg’s initial application for a broadcasting licence to operate CIMI-FM in Broadcasting Decision 2001-164. The station began broadcasting on November 27, 2001. In Broadcasting Decision 2007-326, the Commission granted the station a four-year short-term licence renewal until August 31, 2011, based on its failure to comply with sections 8(5), 8(6) and 9(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986. In that decision, in light of the significant changes made to CIMI-FM’s board of directors, the Commission directed the licensee to file, by December 31, 2007, a report setting out the composition of the station’s board of directors, as well as the term of each board member. In a letter dated November 14, 2007, Commission staff asked the licensee for updated information with respect to its board of directors. The licensee did not respond to that letter. Subsequently, the Commission received a number of complaints from listeners, informing it that CIMI-FM had ceased broadcasting. In a letter dated June 19, 2009, Commission staff requested that the licensee inform it concerning why it had ceased broadcasting and to provide it with its intentions regarding future operations. On July 13, 2009, the licensee informed Commission staff by e-mail that the station was forced to close following legal and financial conflicts, but that a recovery plan would allow the station to resume broadcasting in September 2009. On 28 January 2010, Commission staff sent another letter to the licensee seeking an update on its status. On February 2, 2010, the licensee replied by e-mail that the recovery plan had failed and that the station had not been on the air since its closure in 2008. Commission staff attempted to contact the licensee again by e-mail on February 17, 2010 but received no response. Between February 2010 and December 1, 2011, the Commission had no contact persons for CIMI-FM. However, on December 1, 2011, the Commission received an application to renew CIMI-FM’s licence. In that notice, the Commission noted that it expected to inquire into these issues at the public hearing and that it intended to review the licensee’s plans for the re-launch of its station and future compliance with its conditions of licence and the Regulations. The Commission also indicated that it intended to review the station’s governance and how the licensee planned to fulfill the role and mandate of a community radio station set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499. In light of the instances of apparent non-compliance, the Commission indicated in the notice that it expected the licensee to demonstrate at the hearing the reasons why: its licence should be renewed; a mandatory order should not be issued requiring the licensee to comply with the Regulations and Regulatory Policy 2010-499 pursuant to section 12 of the Broadcasting Act; and its licence should not be suspended or revoked pursuant to sections 9 and 24 of the Act, or be renewed for a short term. 

After CIMI left the air July 23, 2008, there was a lack of communication between the CRTC and station representatives and the licence was cancelled September 5 (2012). CIMI never returned to the air.

The story continues elsewhere…
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