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Ottawa boy ordered to shut down his pirate radio station
Jayhaed Saadé received a note from Industry Canada a few days after he began broadcasting his all-music pirate radio station MIX 91.9 FM from Greely, a community in Ottawa's south end.
"They said I need a licence," Saadé said. "I didn't know. I said, 'OK, I'll apply for the licence but I can't shut off the station.'"
Industry Canada confirmed it had ordered Saadé to stop broadcasting and is investigating the case following complaints.
Under Canadian law, broadcasting without a licence carries a maximum fine of $5,000 and could result in jail time.
Saadé said he's wanted to run a radio station since he was a small child, so he set one up using equipment he ordered on the internet, including a sound processor to improve the clarity and a radio data system that displays the name of the song that's playing. He even mounted an antenna on the roof.
"I play every request," he said. "If you want to talk on air, I'll let you talk on air — there's no problem."
Some listeners have reported being able to hear Saadé's station from 20 kilometres away. In recent days, his phone has been ringing off the hook with requests for songs.
Saadé said that since hearing from Industry Canada, he has applied for a licence. His father, Georges Saadé, said it is expected take six to 10 months to get the permit.
Jayhaed said he plans to keep broadcasting in the meantime.
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