Welcome to Cabin Radio’s FM campaign headquarters.
We’ll use this website to keep you updated as we work to acquire an FM licence and broadcast in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
The CRTC’s verdict that Yellowknife can’t support a new FM station wasn’t the right decision. We’ve heard from thousands of Yellowknife residents who agree and want Cabin Radio on the FM dial. Visit this page for regular updates – we’ll be as transparent as possible, publishing documentation here as we go.
November 22, 2023: Vista’s motion to strike is dismissed
A Federal Court of Appeal judge has dismissed with costs an attempt by Vista Radio to have Cabin Radio’s request for judicial review thrown out.
Cabin Radio is in the process of asking a judicial panel to review the CRTC’s February decision that Yellowknife cannot sustain another commercial radio station. Though not the subject of Cabin Radio’s request, Vista Radio asked to be added to the case and then filed a motion to strike, seeking to shut it down.
The full details of the arguments and decision are a little complicated. In essence, the judge said Vista Radio could not argue one thing when Cabin Radio sought leave to appeal (see below, September 1) and then take a conflicting position when Cabin Radio requested a judicial review.
The decision means the judicial review process proceeds, which is an important step forward for Cabin Radio and allows us to make full arguments to a judicial panel.
(We note with disappointment that independent regulator the CRTC, through the Attorney General of Canada, filed a submission expressly in support of Vista Radio’s position.)
September 1, 2023: Federal Court of Appeal dismisses application for leave to appeal
The Federal Court of Appeal informed Cabin Radio this morning that our motion for leave to appeal the CRTC’s February 2023 decision is dismissed.
As is usually the case when seeking leave to appeal (in other words, asking the court to allow a full appeal to go ahead), no reasons for that decision were issued. Vista Radio, the owner of Yellowknife’s True North FM, filed a motion opposing Cabin Radio and sought a court order allowing Vista Radio to cross-examine our editor.
A separate application for judicial review of the CRTC’s decision remains in progress, and Cabin Radio’s latest application to the CRTC (see May 5 entry below) remains in progress.
We’re naturally disappointed that the Federal Court of Appeal did not see the same significant failings that we see, and that we know our audience sees. Many, many hundreds of residents have written to us in the past two weeks, as this wildfire season continues, to express their support and advocate to the CRTC on our behalf. We appreciate that, and we’re confident we will ultimately be able to provide Yellowknife with the service so many residents keep requesting, and which is so clearly in the public interest.
May 5, 2023: Cabin Radio submits new FM licence application
Cabin Radio has submitted a new application for a commercial FM licence to serve Yellowknife. Read the application and a short explanation from us.
March 22, 2023: Cabin Radio files with the Federal Court of Appeal
Cabin Radio has asked the Federal Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the CRTC’s decision that Yellowknife cannot sustain another commercial FM radio station, and is simultaneously seeking judicial review of that decision.
View the materials we filed with the court and Ollie’s explanation of why we’re taking this step.
March 2, 2023: Ollie’s video update on our CRTC letter
Watch Ollie’s 10-minute explainer about our decision to advise the CRTC that we will immediately reapply for a commercial FM licence in Yellowknife.
You can also read a CBC News report on the letter here.
March 1, 2023: Cabin Radio submits letter to CRTC and will reapply
Cabin Radio has written to the CRTC advising the Commission of its intention to immediately reapply for an FM licence in Yellowknife.
In its February decision on Yellowknife’s market capacity, the CRTC said we would ordinarily have to wait two years to reapply.
In our letter, we set out the reasons we believe this two-year moratorium should not apply. In brief, those reasons are:
- the extreme and unreasonable 42-month wait for the first decision
- the CRTC’s unexplained use of NWT data, not Yellowknife data
- the CRTC’s lack of appreciation that Cabin Radio already exists
You should read the letter in full. We’ll host a live video Q&A later this week to discuss the letter and our next steps in more detail.
The CRTC has confirmed receipt of this letter by email. Whether the CRTC will immediately respond or simply take the letter on notice is not clear.
As stated in the letter, we now intend to submit a renewed application for a commercial FM licence in Yellowknife by the end of April this year, and we have asked for that application to be opened within six months following its receipt – which we consider to be a reasonable time frame, allowing for the usual time a regulatory process like this might take.
When we submit our application, we will make the application package public on this website for our community to inspect. The application package will include hundreds of letters of support filed by Yellowknife residents and businesses, outlining their confidence that Cabin Radio can deliver a much-needed service and exist alongside other FM broadcasters in the city.
Separately, we continue to consider other options related to the CRTC’s February decision. Our only goal is to achieve an FM licence in Yellowknife in the fastest possible time, which is why reapplying immediately makes sense. However, if the CRTC chooses to enforce a two-year moratorium on new applications, it’s important that we keep as many other options open as we can. Stay tuned for more information on this front.
We’ll be adding more to this website soon, including all correspondence relevant to our application as it comes in, and more information about what Yellowknifers can expect from Cabin Radio on the FM dial.
In the meantime, tune in online for a preview! We already operate as though we were an FM station, just without the transmitter – live speech and entertainment shows every weekday, all produced locally, plus northern and Indigenous music on our daily playlist, great contests, and hosts who know the North. You don’t need to wait to start enjoying Cabin Radio, but we know FM will make a huge difference and we’re working hard to make that a reality.
Letters of Support
Yes, you can still send them!
Follow the instructions at this link for more details. Ignore the deadline, we’ll keep taking letters of support for as long as you are prepared to keep writing them.
We have received around 400 at last count.
Thank you, Yellowknife and our entire audience, for your unwavering and extraordinary support. It means the world.
Why a Separate Site?
Our work to get on your FM dial is really important and deserves its own space, and it’s also important that we keep this work separate from our regular day-to-day news reporting.
This page also provides a central location you can always check for the latest on our application, without hunting for it on our main website.
And as the volume of documentation and correspondence grows, it’ll be easier to make sense of everything – and keep everything organized – over here.
If you want to get in touch, our usual contact information still applies.