20 Points of Love for CKGI Radio

Category Uncategorised

Here is my summary of the top reasons for the Gabriola Islands Trust Committee and staff (and you) to support the Gabriola Radio Society (GRS) Application to establish a 40 metre communications tower at Stoney Ridge.

1. Preserve and protect. The current use for the land known as Stoney Ridge is gravel pit. The applied use of transmitter (in the easement area) better preserves and protects the environment. 

2.  Clean Economic Development. Gabriola Radio Society is a local not-for-profit society, therefore, profit is not a motivation. GRS has already contributed nearly $18,000 to the Gabriola economy through its Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) sponsored Spoken Word project, nearly all of which went to Gabriola artists, techs, and businesses. 

Further, the GRS hosting of National and Regional conferences has generated an additional estimated $40,000 for the local economy. I am also pleased to announce we have also just been awarded another CRFC grant of $30,000 for development of radio station software.

All this without considering the value of the CRTC license and its economic impact.  
3. Preserve and protect. GRS agrees to mitigate any potential for damage to the wetland or mature forest. The use of the land for a transmitter is an improvement over gravel pit use. No tree removal is necessary. The tower is high enough to remain operational above the eventual tree height.
4. Best use. The use is consistent with high ground property. Best supports communication towers. 

5. Low Power. GRS has proposed a radio service below the threshold set by Islands Trust for areas with continuous human activity within 500 metres of the structure — 60 watts erp, 0.075 microwaves per cm squared at the base of the structure.

5a. SAFE. The GRS radio service will operate at 1,500 times lower than the most stringent requirements found in Safety Code 6.

6. Ideal location. No location on Gabriola, approved for communication tower use, was designed for the difficult task of broadcasting to Gabriola. All other sites are designed to broadcast off Gabriola. The tower location is central geographically on Gabriola, so best suited to serve the entire island. This area was also chosen by the CBC for their application to serve Nanaimo with the CBC Victoria service. 

The site will also reach additional areas not currently served by CHLY, a Nanaimo campus radio service. 

The Stoney Ridge site is the only acceptable site for local emergency service, as it will provide the widest coverage possible, to as many people as possible, in the event of a catastrophe. If Gabriola experiences a major earthquake or forest fire, for example, somewhat good communication won’t be good enough.  Our monopole tower is designed to be able to continue operating during an extended power outage.

7. Low development impact. No other location, with this much potential, is available on Gabriola. Power, road, telecommunications infrastructure all close by. No other site can be developed with similarly low impact.

8. Isolated area. The transmitter site is planned for a low population area. 

9. Suitable terrain. Construction will not impact wetlands as the site slopes away from them. We have also documented that the proposal does not contravene RDN covenants. 

10. Low Cost. The economic and social benefits of a community radio station will be provided to Gabriola at minimal, if any, cost. This radio service also has a lower carbon footprint than newspaper print services and is less expensive to operate than community television. 

11. Supports goals of Islands Trust. Community radio offers a communication service to advance the goals of the Islands Trust by informing residents about Trust issues and services and enabling additional public participation. For example, reminders regularly broadcast about energy conservation can enable real social change.

12. Demonstrated Community Support. GRS application is supported by more people than opposed as evidenced by letters submitted in support of the application and signatures on a clearly written petition. Gabriola Islands Trust Committee wrote a letter of support in favour of this community radio proposal. Additional letters of support were submitted by our MP, MLA and other community leaders. The funding required to bring this proposal and station to its current, viable position came freely from the pockets of residents.

13. Stable. Community radio in Canada is a stable venture with a very low chance of failure, especially now that the Community Radio Fund of Canada exists and funds community stations. 

14. Funded. GRS has just been awarded a $30,000 grant to develop radio station software. The maximum amounts for funding have been increased to $50,000 per station, more if stations combine their applications.

15. Proven Media. GRS has an established track record as a communication medium on Gabriola. We have already produced over 100 hours of music and spoken word programming by and for Gabriolans, which can be heard on our website at ckgi.ca. Among many other programs, we have provided extended coverage of the ferry cuts, participated in the national Resonating Reconciliation series,  and, most recently, interviewed the local candidates for the Islands Trust. However, by definition, a community radio service should not be restricted to those able to afford internet service and the technology required to use it, which, along with the reasons given above, is why we continue to pursue a radio service
As well, our three community bulletin boards on Facebook constitute the largest social media group on the island, with over 2500 members. 

16. Connected. CBC has demonstrated support for CKGI by providing technical and administrative support. Friends like the CBC help ensure a successful radio service. 

17. Emergency Resource. GRS proposes a monopole tower, which can be used during extended power outages, following earthquakes and snow storms. 

18. Ready to Go On Air. GRS is already approved for use of 98.7 FM by the CRTC. Transmitter, antennae are on hand.

19. Ongoing support. The community has demonstrated support, for over a decade, for the service.

20. Enabling. Community radio is an enabling service for other community groups. Community radio provides outreach and funding opportunities.

CKGI – President