Why, Minister? Why have you done this?

We sent the following e-mail to Canada’s Heritage Minister James Moore on Wednesday night.

From: RCI Action <rciaction@yahoo.ca>
To: “james.moore@parl.gc.ca” <james.moore@parl.gc.ca>
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 10:54:46 PM
Subject: Why did you change the Order in Council?

Hon. James Moore,
A little more than 24 hours ago we at the RCI Action Committee found out that on June 7, 2012, you changed the Order in Council that directs CBC/Radio-Canada in its obligations under the Broadcasting Act in dealing with Radio Canada International.
You have eliminated CBC’s obligation to provide programming on shortwave, depriving almost all Chinese listeners of uncensored news from Canada, since the website of RCI is blocked by the Chinese authorities. And you have made it impossible for most listeners in the world to stay abreast of what’s going on in Canada via radio, because most people do not have easy access to the Internet.
You have also abolished CBC’s obligation to consult with Foreign Affairs about the geographic target areas and languages we broadcast in. Letting it continue in the slashing of services to the Ukraine, Russia and Brazil.
And you have done this after two months of CBC being in contempt of the 2003 Order in Council. Just as we were preparing an injunction to stop the shutting down of shortwave transmissions.
You have cleared the way for the CBC’s destruction of a 67 year old institution. An institution that CBC/Radio-Canada has never understood. It does not understand international broadcasting, the importance of it, and the impact of the 80% cut you are letting them get away with.
It is ironic.
Chinese authorities block RCI’s website. They have not jammed the shortwave frequencies of Radio Canada International. So you’ve done it for them, by shutting down RCI’s Chinese radio programming.
Why have you done this?
Yours truly,
Wojtek Gwiazda
Spokesperson, RCI Action Committee
rciaction@yahoo.ca
rciaction.org/blog

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WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

Help us find out what’s going on, and share your thoughts with Minister Moore and the rest of the government (Conservative Party) MPs.
You’ll find details on how to do this here: http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/
More information on why this is such a setback: http://tinyurl.com/6m8ln3r

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Article by Admin RCI Action

Admin RCI Action: Wojtek Gwiazda is the spokesperson for the RCI Action Committee which is supported and funded by the union that represents almost all RCI employees: the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC). E-mail: rciaction@yahoo.ca Read 79 articles by Admin RCI Action
One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Sheldon Harvey says:

    Looking at what’s happened to RCI, the only thing I’m blaming the Conservative government of is caving in to the demands of the CBC. I have always, and now more firmly than ever, believed that the CBC is the “bad guy” in all decisions, particularly these most recent ones, that have pushed RCI to the brink of extinction. I think it will only be a short matter of time before the CBC will be ready to lower the axe once and for all on RCI.

    Now, given these changes to the Order in Council, it seems that the government has merely sharpened the axe and pointed where to swing it.

    I firmly believe that the pressure to change the Order in Council, even to the point of providing them with the wording, came from the CBC itself. I don’t give anyone in this government, or any of the governments before them in recent history, to have even had this Order in Council on their radar, given everything
    else they have to deal with. RCI had to have been way, way down on the laundry list. Only pressure from CBC, particularly given the cuts that they have had to endure in the recent budget, in my mind, no doubt was looking for table scraps from the Goverment and were probably dished out a plate with this change in the Order in Council.

    I have this vision in my mind of the specific government departments involved momentarily putting their heads together, looking at the CBC’s request for the change, and rubber stamping it through before the summer break hits. Besides, what harm could it do and who will really notice anyway?

    Well, some astute people did notice, and we do understand the implications. Unfortunately those who have made the change, under pressure from the CBC,
    probably never took the time to totally analyze what the implications could possibly be.

    Supporters of RCI, from within and from outside, have fought the good fight with more stamina than anyone would have ever dreamed possible. The CBC themselves learned that as various lobby groups over the years since 1991 have succeeded in keeping RCI alive. Our numbers have dwindled and there seems to be a level of resignation and lack of will to continue to fight.

    I said a long time ago that this was CBC’s plan from the beginning. RCI was a thorn in the side of CBC and they would continue to weasel their way around,
    managing the service for the government, with the ultimate goal of shutting it down, first by making it so irrelevant and so much of a shadow of its former
    self, that many, many people would lose their desire to fight and probably say, well, we aren’t really losing anything of any great value now anyway.

    The conversion to a web-based RCI will probably, very quickly, lead to its ultimate disappearance as it sinks to the bottom of the Internet pool with few
    around to throw it a life-preserver.

    It is sad, very sad, particularly from a country where radio broadcasting began.

    Sheldon Harvey

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