‘Major transformation’ does not respect international mandate of RCI

En français ici

Does the new “major transformation” of Radio Canada International respect the international mandate of RCI? The short answer is no.

At the moment the obligations of CBC/Radio-Canada in the Broadcasting Act and the Order in Council of 2012 are as follows:

Broadcasting Act of 1991

International service

46 (2) The Corporation shall, within the conditions of any licence or licences issued to it by the Commission and subject to any applicable regulations of the Commission, provide an international service in accordance with such directions as the Governor in Council may issue.


Order in Council 2012-0775

(iii) to produce and distribute programming targeted at international audiences to increase awareness of Canada, its values and its social, economic and cultural activities


According to a number of RCI colleagues, when asked, CBC/Radio-Canada administrators said this new policy respects RCI’s mandate to serve an external audience.

It is true that in the press release of December 3, CBC/Radio-Canada states:

“In its strategic plan ‘Your Stories, Taken to Heart’ CBC/Radio-Canada committed to ‘taking Canada to the world’ and ‘reflecting contemporary Canada.’ Transforming RCI is a necessary step to allow the service to effectively fulfill the important role it must play in delivering on those commitments. To that end, RCI will soon be offering more content in more languages, drawing on the work of CBC/Radio-Canada’s respected news teams to reach new audiences at home and abroad.”


If we examine “Your Stories, Taken to Heart,” and its goal of “Taking Canada to the World” we find no mention of RCI. Even in the article of CBC president Catherine Tait “Yes, the world needs more Canada” there is no mention of RCI, even though she mentions the importance of the BBC World Service for cultural diplomacy and to enhancing the U.K.’s influence abroad, as well as the growth of the BBC World Service’s audience this year.

When we examine the CBC/Radio-Canada press release of December 3, this is what we find describing RCI’s role (see in particular underlined phrases):

“Since its founding, RCI has played a key role in providing a Canadian perspective on world affairs and, since 2012, in connecting with newcomers to our country.”

And the press release presents the key areas of this RCI transformation:

“the editorial offering from five languages to seven, with the addition of complete sections in Punjabi (the third-most-spoken language among immigrants to Canada after the main Chinese languages, Mandarin and Cantonese) and Tagalog (the language of the Philippines and increasingly spoken in Canada).”

“These changes will not only boost RCI’s audience and relevance, but also help the service engage more deeply with its target audience, particularly newcomers to Canada.”

By becoming more relevant, more visible or more widely available in the languages spoken by the largest number of new Canadians, the new offering will allow Radio Canada International to better connect and engage with its target audience. RCI will also make all this content freely available to interested ethnic community media.”

What is clear in these statements is that the main priority of this transformation is to target an audience in Canada. But this goal is nowhere to be found in the Broadcasting Act or the Order in Council that affects Radio Canada International.


For more information on the “major transformation” of RCI, read details here


RCI Action Committee

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Article by Admin RCI Action Committee Website

Wojtek Gwiazda has been the spokesperson for the RCI Action Committee since 1991. The Committee is supported and funded by the union that represents almost all RCI employees: the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs de Radio-Canada (STTRC formerly SCRC). E-mail: wojtekrciaction@gmail.com Admin RCI Action Committee Website tagged this post with: , , , , , , , Read 111 articles by Admin RCI Action Committee Website
One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Javier González Nungaray says:

    Quiero manifestarles que yo conozco y he escuchado a RCI desde 1980 por medio de las ondas cortas, y desde 2012 por medio de la página web, facebook y Twiter y lo principal; todo éste lapso de tiempo que he tenido comunicación con la emisora, he tenido experiencias maravillosas, he aprendido mucho sobre la Cultura e historia de Canadá.
    Por todo esto voto a favor de que continue y permanezca sin ninguna modificación la situación de Radio Canadá Internacional.

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