Ottawa, 11 June 2003 – In a massive report on broadcasting in Canada called “Our Cultural Sovereignty”, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage described RCI as “an essential international service.”
Among its 97 recommendations the Committee called on the “appropriate department [to] review the mandate of Radio Canada International, with a view to identifying the necessary resources required to strengthen its services.”
In the two and a half pages devoted to RCI, the Heritage Committee reported that “Two groups, the RCI Action Committee and the Canadian International DX Club, made passionate submissions to the Committee.”
Quoting from the brief of the RCI Action Committee, the Heritage Committee wrote:
“The RCI Action Committee told the Committee that the government’s support for an international service:
… must go further than just a general statement to “provide an international service”. The Broadcasting Act must outline RCI’s mandate to “attract an international audience” and develop “international awareness of Canada” [the CBC's Corporate Policy No. 14]. It must specifically oblige RCI to prepare such programming in both official languages, English and French. There should be sufficient guidelines in the Act to ensure most regions of the world are covered, and to ensure RCI broadcasts in major foreign languages, and any others deemed important or useful. Without necessarily enumerating each region and language, these directives must be strong enough to prevent anyone but Parliament from being able to change the mandate of RCI. At the moment, there is very little that prevents the CBC from cutting services back radically. This despite the fact that all of RCI funding comes from the Canadian Heritage Department.”
The Heritage Committee has requested that the government respond to its report.
The entire report is available on the Heritage Committee’s Website Link to site
The text on RCI is in Chapter 7, page 253 in the section on International Services.
See the RCI Action Committee’s entire submission here.