By PETER O’NEIL, Vancouver Sun October 21, 2014 1:07 PM
A Washington state county authority turned down Tuesday an application to build radio towers just a few hundred metres from the Canada-U.S. border near Tsawwassen.
Photograph by: Dario Ayala, The Gazette
OTTAWA – A Washington state county authority turned down Tuesday an application to build radio towers just a few hundred metres from the Canada-U.S. border near Tsawwassen.
The decision, cheered by jubilant members of a Canada-U.S. grass roots coalition, represents another blow to a tiny but enormously lucrative segment of B.C.’s media industry.
Dubbed “Pirate Radio,” it involves Punjabi-Canadian entrepreneurs for more than a decade sending broadcasts – all developed in Canada, and funded with Canadian advertising – from Washington-based transmitters into B.C. Lower Mainland communities without the approval of Canadian authorities.
The CRTC, Canada’s regulator of the airwaves, has already taken action to shut the three stations down.
Whatcom County hearing examiner Michael Bobbink, based in Bellingham, Wash., announced the decision in a memorandum Tuesday to the owners of the station KRPI, which proposed to build the towers, and the Cross Border Coalition of Canadian and American residents who vehemently opposed it.
Construction of the five 45-metre towers, according to Bobbink, would violate height limits for new structures in the community of Point Roberts, Wash.
He therefore cancelled public hearings scheduled to begin next week. Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Canada’s minister of national revenue and the MP whose riding includes Tsawwassen, planned to appear to argue against allowing the tower construction to proceed.
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