Nfld. & Labrador

Rafale FM cancels radio renewal, in talks with creditors

"It was never a question of bad faith," director says in letter to CRTC.

'It was never a question of bad faith,' director says in letter to CRTC

Gaël Corbineau is the managing director of Radio communautaire du Labrador. (Philippe Grenier/Radio-Canada)

A francophone community radio station that was collecting advertising money, without going to air, is cancelling its broadcast licence renewal process with the CRTC.

Rafale FM is also "in discussion with our creditors," station director Gael Corbineau said in a letter to the CRTC, dated May 22.

"The radio has not been on air since July 2018 because the transmission server was not working. The radio was hoping it could fix the problem, but because of lack of human resources and lack of financing, the situation lasted longer than expected," read the letter, which was translated from French.

"The radio is now finding that it will be impossible to fix the situation and is abandoning its renewal process for its licence. It was never a question of bad faith from the radio and it has not been accepting money from publicity for some time now."

Corbineau wrote the letter in response to a CRTC request, sent to the radio station in Labrador City on May 15.

Radio communautaire du Labrador, more commonly known as Rafale FM, hasn't produced any local programming since 2015, according to several sources.

Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government invested more than $600,000 to create Rafale FM, a provincewide francophone radio network for Newfoundland and Labrador. (Radio-Canada)

Between 2009 and 2012, the federal and provincial governments invested more than $600,000 to create Rafale FM, a provincial francophone radio network with transmitters in Labrador City, St. John's and Mainland, N.L., on Newfoundland's west coast.

Numerous federal government departments and agencies revealed to Radio-Canada they have paid Rafale FM for advertising over the past four years. Walmart and Ford also purchased air time, through the marketing agency Mindshare, CBC reported last month.

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