The CRTC is holding hearings for a new FM Radio license in Vancouver this week at the Empire Landmark hotel on Robson St. The CBC is applying to move CBU CBC Radio One, to the FM bandwidth.
I am speaking as an intervener at the CRTC hearings this week, regarding CBC Radio's second proposal for a transmitter on Gabriola Island.
The competition for radio space is busy. There are a lot of applicants for commercial radio stations. But does Vancouver really need another AAA (Adult Album Alternative) or Adult comtemporary or Adult urban radio station?
I would prefer that more people be able to receive better accessibility to our national radio CBC. It's one of our strongest cultural identifiers and supporters across Canada. Listening to CBC Radio One is always a welcome joy wherever I am on vacation or travelling across Canada, or even in the United States. I remember one time especially, driving across the Idaho plains and listening to Peter Gzowsky's voice, probably saying hello to the people in Gander NFL. A few years ago I smiled when I recognized the warm tones of Shelagh Rogers while I was in a Saltspring Island bookstore.
CBC radio really brings together the people from across this province with shows like BC Almanac. I know that my cousins on Hornby Island get excited when they recognize my voice coming across the airwaves speaking about Gung Haggis Fat Choy, Joy Kogawa House, Chinese head tax, the CBC documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy, the Vancouver civic strike, or anything else I get interviewed about.
I am found of saying that “Meaningfullness” is important in life. For
radio listeners in Nanaimo and its environs, having a CBC Radio that
reflects Vancouver Island issues and especially North Island and rural
topics is much more meaningful than listening to Vancouver city issues
and traffic reports. CBC wants to put a transmitter on Gabriola Island to increase its' signal from CBC Victoria, instead of Nanaimo being overwhelmed by the CBC Vancouver. Makes sense to me…
Diversity in radio is great – but simply having more radio stations that sound the same isn't the answer. Neither is having more radio stations in ethnic languages. For a strong Canada, we need a strong Canadian identity. That means creating more accessibility and more coverage for CBC Radio One. CBC Radio One must in turn, provide the diversity through its programming of ethnic cultural issues, as well as balancing national and local topics. It's like planting a garden – you need an overall concept to make it work not only aesthetically but also geographically. Just planting the same flower 20 times in a row because it is popular doesn't make it a garden for everybody. Gardens thrive on balance, contrast, harmony and use of space. Better coverage by CBC Radio One will do this for more Canadians.
Here's the scoop: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/making-the-move-to-fm/
CBC wants to improve the quality of its Radio One service in the
Greater Vancouver area by converting CBU from the AM band to the FM
CBC is proposing to introduce an FM transmitter on
Mt. Seymour at 88.1 MHz to serve the Vancouver area and an FM
transmitter on Gabriola Island at 98.7 MHz to cover the Sunshine Coast
In a separate application, CBC is also proposing to introduce
another transmitter on Gabriola Island at 104.1 MHz to serve the
community of Nanaimo with Radio One programming that originates from
Victoria instead of Vancouver.
These applications if approved by the CRTC will effectively
replicate our current AM coverage and give the people of Vancouver and
the surrounding area long awaited access to an FM signal
CRTC should approve these applications because:
- AM reception is poor in the core of Vancouver. Making the move to FM is the only way to ensure that all of the people of Vancouver are able to receive Radio One’s unique and distinctive service.
- CBC carried out a survey of Radio One listeners in Vancouver
(Foundation Research, 2004) that told us that almost 40% of respondents
experienced signal reception difficulties (often or occasionally) with
CBU either at home, at work or in their car.
- Tuning to the AM band is in decline and has been for years. Four
out of ten Vancouver radio listeners do not listen to the AM band at
all. Making the move to FM is an investment in Radio One’s future. It’s
about being relevant and staying connected to the people of Vancouver.
- Radio One is currently available on FM in every major city in Canada except Vancouver. This transition to FM is long overdue.