Nova Scotia

CRTC denies Truro emergency broadcast signal

Canada's telecom regulator said Tuesday that a recent ruling blocking the town of Truro's request to have the ability to deliver emergency broadcasts cannot be appealed.
CJIS is recorded at town hall and broadcast from the water treatment plant. (CBC)

Canada's telecom regulator said Tuesday that a recent ruling blocking the town of Truro's request to have the ability to deliver emergency broadcasts cannot be appealed. 

Citing the Canadian Broadcast Act, the Canadian Radio and Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said the appeal is not possible because Truro is neither renewing its licence nor applying for a new licence.

The town of Truro told CBC News that it will appeal a federal decision denying it the ability to deliver emergency broadcasts.

The flood-prone municipality said Monday that it wants to overturn the recent ruling from the CRTC.

The town holds a licence for CJIS, a tiny two-watt FM station that airs basic council notes. It's recorded at town hall and broadcast from the water treatment plant.

Last year, Truro asked for permission to power up its signal to provide emergency alerting services for 22,000 people in Colchester County.

"We would start a campaign with the local municipal units to brand that station as the place to go in case of an emergency," said mayor Bill Mills.

Interest in the idea started after Hurricane Juan when Truro didn't have a broadcast. Since then the area has been hit by other emergencies including severe floods in September.

"We wanted to be in a position to be of service to the community should an emergency warrant it," said Mills

Earlier this month Canada's broadcast regulator denied the towns application for an expanded FM licence saying it's not needed. The CRTC said the area's two private radio stations are capable of delivering emergency broadcasts.

The mayor said the local stations do a good job but they are not staffed all the time, a problem during the most recent flood.

"I spent most of my time on Sunday afternoon trying to track down some of the employees at the station to advise them of the things happening in our area," Mills said.

He said the municipality is not trying to create an empire.

It spent $14,000 to provide the additional power it would need.

with files from Paul Withers

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