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|Channels||Digital: 17 (UHF))
Virtual: 17.1 (PSIP)
|Owner||The Miracle Channel Association|
|First air date||January 14, 1996|
|Call letters' meaning||Christ Jesus Is Lord|
|Former callsigns||CJIL-TV (1996-2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||17 (Analog, 1996-2011)|
|Transmitter power||8.6 kW|
|Website||The Miracle Channel|
CJIL-DT is a Canadian English-language Christian-based television station licensed to and based in Lethbridge, Alberta. CJIL-DT uses the on-air name Miracle Channel. It was the first over-the-air religious TV station in Canada.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted CJIL-TV's broadcasting licence to founders Dick and Joan Dewert (also known as Dick and Joan Deweert) on April 4, 1995. It debuted on January 14, 1996 broadcasting in southern Alberta, after Canada's sixty-year ban on religious broadcasting was lifted. It expanded nationally on September 11, 2000. CJIL is the Canadian partner of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and shares their Canadian-produced programming with that organization. (The Dewerts had set up a pirate translator for TBN in 1986, which was shut down by the CRTC before CJIL's license was granted.) The station is available globally via satellite and on the Internet.
On May 20, 2007, Dick and Joan Dewert resigned from the station due to an extra-marital relationship. Mervyn Mediwake was installed as the interim CEO. On January 1, 2010, after a series of interim leaders, the board of directors of the Miracle Channel Association hired Leon Fontaine as permanent CEO.
Over-the-air in Alberta
In 2007, CJIL filed an application with the CRTC for a licence to operate English-language transitional digital television programming undertakings in Calgary (Channel 15) and Edmonton (Channel 21). If approved, these transmitters would have simply rebroadcast the original CJIL schedule in its entirety. The applications were denied, however, in favour of a competing application from the Crossroads Television System.
As part of spectrum re-allocation, full-power over-the-air transmitters on channels 52-69 must vacate those channels, but may move to a channel below 52. CJIL's Burmis transmitter is affected by this change. In filings to the CRTC, CJIL has stated that it plans on shutting down this transmitter.
The Miracle Channel Review, a Christian-run website unaffiliated with the network, has been critical of the Dewerts and other personalities over the prosperity gospel message they have preached during CJIL's fundraising telethons. The Miracle Channel Review 's webmaster, Tim Thibault, issued formal complaints with the CRTC over improper statements made during CJIL's telethons; the CRTC ruled in 2006 that the fundraising cited by Thibault violated federal guidelines. CJIL has since claimed to have revised its fundraising policies. Thibault's criticism of CJIL became the subject of an investigative report about the station's financial practices on CBC News at Six.
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
|CJIL-TV-1||Bow Island||39 (UHF)||13.86 kW||112 m||)|
- "Miracle Channel founder resigns", CBC News, May 22, 2007
- Myers, Sean. "Christian TV head resigns over affair", Calgary Herald, May 23, 2007.
- "Miracle TV to go on without founder, says new head" CBC News, May 23, 2007
- "Leon Fontaine appointed CEO of Miracle Channel" Christian Week, December 22nd, 2009
- CRTC Miracle Channel judgment, 3 January 2006
- Miracle Channel (CJIL TV) Expose - CBC News - Part 1 - November 2006