|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|
CJIL-DT, branded on-air as Miracle Channel, is a Canadian English-language Christian religious television station licensed to and based in Lethbridge, Alberta. Launched in 1996, it was the first over-the-air religious TV station in Canada. CJIL has been carried on cable and satellite providers in other parts of Canada since 2000.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted a broadcasting licence to 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 was the Canadian partner of the U.S. religious broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). (The Dewerts had set up an unlicensed relay transmitter 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.
In 1999 and 2001, two additional transmitters were approved by the CRTC to be added in Bow Island and Burmis. See transmitters.
On May 20, 2007, Dick Dewert admitted to an extramarital affair and resigned from the station. Joan Dewert resigned as well. 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, senior pastor of the Winnipeg-based Springs Church, as permanent CEO.
On July 8, 2013, TBN announced a partnership with Miracle Channel. As a result, Miracle Channel began airing some of TBN's flagship programs, including Praise The Lord and Behind The Scenes, while TBN's networks will pick up some of Miracle Channel's programs, including Springs Church services, and The Leon Show on The Church Channel. Plans were also announced for Fontaine to be a regular host on Praise the Lord, and for four episodes per year to originate from Canada. The two networks also announced plans to co-produce a new weekly program. The move came weeks following Daystar's announcement of a similar program supply deal with Grace TV, which would soon be rebranded Daystar Canada.
On September 19, 2017, the channel premiered a daily newscast, Bridge City News, hosted by Hal Roberts.
Over-the-air in Alberta
In 2007, Miracle Channel Association 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 CJIL 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 transmitter in Burmis, CJIL-TV-2 channel 55, was 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|
- Decision CRTC 95-129, CRTC, April 4, 1995
- "Miracle Channel founder resigns", CBC News, May 22, 2007
- Myers, Sean. "Christian TV head resigns over affair" Archived 2011-06-28 at the Wayback Machine, 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" Archived 2010-09-20 at the Wayback Machine Christian Week, December 22nd, 2009
- "TBN, Canada's Miracle Channel To Share Shows". Multichannel News. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "PRESS RELEASE: Grace TV has entered into a strategic partnership with Daystar Television". GraceTV press release. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- CRTC Miracle Channel judgment[permanent dead link], 3 January 2006
- Miracle Channel (CJIL TV) Expose - CBC News - Part 1 - November 2006
- Decision CRTC 99-71, Addition of a transmitter for the distribution of the programming of CJIL-TV, CRTC, March 30, 1999
- Decision CRTC 2001-491, Addition of a transmitter of CJIL-TV Lethbridge at Burmis, CRTC, August 13, 2001