In a broadcasting decision handed down today, the CRTC has approved an application by Subanasiri Vaithilingam for a broadcasting licence to operate a commercial ethnic FM radio programming undertaking in Scarborough, Ontario.

Scarborough, a popular destination for new immigrants to Canada, is a dissolved municipality of over 600,000 people located at the Eastern edge of Toronto.

A significant portion of Scarborough's population is composed of immigrants and descendants of immigrants who have arrived in the last four decades. In 2006, 57% of residents were foreign born. Visible minorities make up 67.4% of the population. South Asian residents make up 22.0% of the population, Chinese residents account for 19.5% of the population, Black Canadian residents make up 10.3% of the population, while Filipino Canadian residents account for 6.5%.

Mr. Vaithilingam proposes to devote up to 90% of its programming to servicing the South Asian community with the bulk (60%) primarily targeted to the Tamil community (60%), as well as programming targeted to the Punjabi (20%) and Filipino (10%) communities.

The federal regulator received several opposing interventions including one from CJSA-FM Toronto which pointed out that the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was already served by nine ethnic stations therefore Scarborough could not support the entry of a new ethnic radio station. CJSA-FM said the new station would be targeting the same Tamil ethnic group, from which it indicated it derived approximately half of its revenues.

In reply, the applicant indicated that its new low-power FM station would have very little impact on other stations in the market and that both CJSA-FM and its proposed FM station could serve the Tamil community in the market.

After considering the intervention, the commission went ahead and approved the application.

The commission says the new station must be operational within 24 months of the decision. The station would operate at 105.9 FM with an effective radiated power of 45 watts.

Discuss the decision in Digital Home's Canadian AM / FM Radio forum .