The stations have been called to a hearing this fall and threatened with cease and desist orders. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says the stations – Radio India, Radio Punjab and Sher-E-Punjab – operate out of Canada but do not hold radio licences for this country. All three broadcast from British Columbia but their signals are transmitted from Washington State.
“There is reason to believe that Sher-E-Punjab, Radio India and Radio Punjab may be carrying on broadcasting undertakings in whole or in part in Canada without licences in contravention of the Broadcasting Act,” writes the CRTC in a notice of hearing. The notice says the stations will be asked to show cause at the October hearing as to why the CRTC should not issue mandatory cease and desist orders. Should such orders be issued, that could trigger court involvement, according to the CRTC.
“The fact that they are broadcasting into Canada and getting Canadian [advertising] business and not complying to regulations in terms of Canadian content and all that, they are infringing the law,” said Patricia Valladao, manager of media relations for the CRTC. She says if they are broadcasting in Canada they should have a licence and fulfill the Broadcasting Act. “So in this hearing, they really have to come to us and explain themselves.”
On its website, Radio Punjab promotes itself as “Broadcasting on AM 1110 from Seattle to Vancouver.” According to the CRTC, it has an arrangement with New Age Media Limited, the licensee of KRPA 1110 AM in Oak Harbour, Wash., to transmit its programming, which is received in Canada. Its offices are in Surrey.
Also operating out of Surrey, Radio India has an agreement with the licensee of KVRI 1600 AM in Blaine, Wash., which transmits its programming, according to the CRTC. Its website says its programs can be enjoyed “in the lower mainland of British Columbia and in some areas of Washington State.”
And Sher-E-Punjab, which broadcasts out of studios in Richmond, has an arrangement with BBC Broadcasting Inc., the licensee of KRPI 1550 AM in Ferndale, Wash., according to the CRTC.
“They’re very popular. They’re all broadcasting from Washington,” said Ms. Valladao. “They have strong signals,” she later added.
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