In its sharply worded decision granting the renewal from Jan. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017, the CRTC has directed the Parrsboro Radio Society (PRS), which operates the community station, to submit a report within 60 days outlining its policies and procedures on how it deals with complaints, how it recruits and trains volunteers and how it decides which volunteers are given access to CICR’s studios at 396 Main St. The decision says that “the Commission is concerned by the allegation that volunteers can be locked out of CICR-FM’s premises, given that the station’s studios are situated in a private residence.”
The report must also explain how the PRS assigns responsibilities for meeting CRTC regulatory requirements.
“Radio frequencies are a limited public resource,” the CRTC decision says. “Holding a broadcasting licence is a privilege, and broadcasters are required to abide by a number of regulations and conditions of licence to operate a radio station.”
The CRTC lists repeated examples of the PRS not complying with its regulatory obligations including failing to file timely financial information as well as not submitting other requested documents, tapes and program logs.
“The Commission considers that the issues and range of the non-compliance described above are extremely serious and relate to fundamental aspects of the broadcasting regulatory system and of Parrsboro Radio’s broadcasting licence,” the decision says.
The CRTC adds it will use the PRS report to assess any future complaints and to evaluate the station’s ability to comply with its regulatory requirements and the policies that govern community radio.
It warns that if PRS breaches the regulations again during the short-term licence renewal period, it could face serious consequences including suspension, non-renewal or outright loss of its broadcasting licence.