Community radio station in peril

There has been much concern within folk and roots music circles about the potential demise of CKLN, a community radio station in Toronto that has been on troubled footing for some years.

Roots Music Canada  is an apolitical organization, and we take no position on the issues that have led to CKLN’s license being in jeopardy.

We strongly support community radio, AND the careful stewardship of the public funds that help support it.

All musicians working outside the mainstream are the poorer for the loss of any community radio outlet. So we asked CKLN programmer, Blues Doctor Julie V. Hill, to tell us how concerned citizens can help prevent the potential loss of a community station.

After Saturday, February 12th,  the license for Toronto community radio station CKLN FM’s continued presence as an alternate voice to the mainstream is in the hands of the CRTC.

There are still a few days for you to make a difference.

1. If you haven’t already, please sign the on-line petition to the CRTC about CKLN’s license.

2. Complete an on-line “complaint” to the CRTC, an often successful approach with a history of positive results.

3. Write to your own MP.

More details are available on the CKLN website.

For additional context, here’s what MP & NDP leader Jack Layton wrote to the CRTC last week.

Thank you for all of your support,

Blues Doctor Julie V. Hill.

From: the Hon. Jack Layton, MP, P.C.
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada

I am writing with regard to the CRTC’s recent decision to revoke the license of CKLN-FM radio.

Independent, community-based radio is essential to our broadcasting system. Diversity of ideas and analysis is important for a healthy democracy. For these reasons, CKLN was created many years ago.

I understand that CKLN may have previously fallen out of compliance with CRTC regulations. The station’s staff, however, has made efforts to remedy these past problems. They are making progress and are determined to meet all the requirements of their license renewal.

In light of these efforts, I believe the revocation of CKLN’s license to be significantly premature. To echo the dissenting opinion of CRTC commissioner Louise Poirier, I believe that the measure adopted is disproportionate to the fault in question. It would have been more prudent and consistent with the Commission’s common practices to issue a mandatory order accompanied by close monitoring of the licensee. This would have constituted fair treatment for CKLN Toronto.

CKLN has always worked hard to provide a voice to the marginalized and to speak out against inequality. It is vital that these voices not be silenced.

Should the decision of the CRTC to revoke CKLN’s license be appealed, I would strongly urge the commission to reconsider the severity of the measure they have decided to implement.

Yours Sincerely,

Hon. Jack Layton, MP, P.C.
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada

Blues Doctor Julie Hill is producer & host of  Blue Remedy on CKLN and Juno Awards Blues Music Committee Co-Chair.

Blue Remedy is heard: Wednesdays 8 to 10 pm ET on CKLN 88.1 fm Toronto, and online at CKLN.fm

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