VX9AMK (STAR RAY)
VX9AMK (STAR RAY) , Toronto
On August 21, the CRTC denied an application by Jan Pachul for a new low-power English-language television programming undertaking in Toronto. The proposed station would have provided a service designed for residents of an area of Toronto known as "The Beaches". The applicant’s proposal, however, even as modified at the hearing, was predicated on the station’s signal receiving mandatory cable carriage in portions of Metropolitan Toronto well beyond the applicant’s intended service area. The station would have operated on UHF channel 15. In 1997 Pachul proposed a trial exemption order for a Low Power TV station to serve the Beaches community. The Commission found it "an interesting concept for serving the needs of neighbourhoods and small communities."
Despite the CRTC denial, Pachul put the station on the air September 9. Star Ray channel 15 was a “pirate” TV station.
The CRTC called Pachul to appear before it at a public hearing in September so that it might "enquire into, hear and determine" whether a mandatory order should be issued requiring Pachul to cease and desist operating a broadcasting undertaking at Toronto, or anywhere else in Canada, except in compliance with the Broadcasting Act. On October 26 a Mandatory Order was issued pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the Broadcasting Act concerning the operation of the unlicensed undertaking at Toronto.
Following the denial of Pachul’s 2000 application, the Commission received evidence via various press reports that he was operating an unlicensed television station in Toronto. The Commission wrote a letter to Pachul stating that, if he was broadcasting, he should cease and desist from doing so except in accordance with the Act. No reply was received. The Commission asked Industry Canada to monitor and determine if Pachul was operating a broadcasting undertaking in Toronto. Industry Canada provided the Commission with a monitoring report and videotape of sample programming. The report stated that Pachul "continues to operate an unlicensed TV broadcast station in Toronto." A second report was issued which confirmed that the unlicensed broadcasting undertaking in Toronto continued to broadcast. The Commission wrote to Pachul indicating that it was contemplating holding a public hearing to determine whether a mandatory order should be issued.
Pachul filed an application with the Federal Court of Appeal for a judicial review asking for a stay of the public hearing and removal of the comments filed by the CAB and CTV. He then applied to the Court on an urgent basis, to stay the public hearing. On September 18, the Federal Court of Appeal issued a Direction, declining to treat the motion on an urgent basis.
Pachul applied again for a broadcasting licence but the CRTC never issued an approval or denial.
Hamilton’s CHCH-DT moved from channel 11 to channel 15. As a result, Star Ray moved from channel 15 to digital channel 22 (virtual channel 15).
For the record, at some point Jan Pachul received temporary authority from Industry Canada to operate Star Ray (call sign VX9AMK).
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