Help us before November 2022

Please note: Deadline for Senators to decide about amendments (including our amendment) to the Broadcasting Act  has been extended by the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications (TRCM) so there’s still time to share your views with the members of the Senate Committee.

The future of Radio Canada International (RCI) will be decided by mid November. By that time a Canadian Senate Committee will decide whether or not to change the wording of Article 46(2) of Canada’s Broadcasting Act. This article is the only federal legislation that deals with RCI. The RCI Action Committee is proposing a strengthened definition of the role and mandate of our world service.

CBC/Radio-Canada has ignored its obligations under the Broadcasting Act and Orders in Council for years. With the result it has moved RCI away from creating programming “targeted at international audiences” (as directed in Order in Council 2012-0775), and has RCI translating CBC and Radio-Canada web texts, and focusing on ethnic communities in Canada.

The difference between the mandates of CBC/Radio-Canada and RCI is part of the challenge facing RCI. CBC/Radio-Canada programming is directed at Canadians in Canada. RCI, as a world service, is mandated to create programming for non-Canadian audiences outside of Canada who may know little or nothing about Canada. The content of these two institutions are very different because of their intended audiences.

Up until the 1990s that was not a problem since CBC was not in charge of editorial and journalistic decisions, because the management of RCI was left to RCI administrators who had expertise in international broadcasting.

With budget issues at CBC in 1990, CBC took money earmarked for RCI. In subsequent years these budget issues opened the door for CBC administrators to finally take over the administration of RCI with disastrous results.

The newsroom was disbanded, the Ukrainian and Russian sections eliminated, as well as the audience relations department and its music recording department, and the English and French Sections were closed down. And then RCI’s popular website was revamped, badly, and lately used to promote CBC and Radio-Canada programming.

In a phrase, CBC/Radio-Canada did not have the expertise, or the desire to fulfill its obligations to support a real world service for non-Canadian audiences outside Canada, and started using the service for its own purposes.

In addition, CBC/Radio-Canada is describing the RCI situation as one about new technology versus old technology, “digital platforms” versus “traditional broadcasting” to explain what it is doing with RCI with its new RCI policy of December 2020. CBC/Radio-Canada used the same argument in 2012 when it cut 80 per cent of RCI’s budget and stopped it from being a radio station, leaving only the RCI website.

This argument was not true in 2012 nor is it true in 2022, because RCI, like CBC, has had digital platforms and was using the Internet extensively and successfully since 1996.

As you can see we face numerous obstacles to getting our amendment passed, but we’re not giving up. We hope you will not give up on us.

We have great plans for a multi modal, hybrid RCI that looks forward to using all available technologies as we regain our role as a true world service.

But to do this we need to convince Senators on the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications who will be amending the Broadcasting Act to include our amendment of Article 46(2).

Please contact the Senators of the Committee (list below) and share your thoughts with them about the importance of a world service to Canada, why you care, and share whatever personal connection, listening to, working with, being aware of, Radio Canada International, that you may have.

As always thank you.

Wojtek Gwiazda, Spokesperson RCI Action Committee,


Senators on the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications:

Leo Housakos, Chair of the Committee

Tel: 613-947-4237 – Twitter:


Julie Miville-Dechêne, Vice-présidente du comité

Tel : 613-943-4780 – Twitter:


Bernadette Clement

Tel: 613-944-1046 – Twitter:


René Cormier

Tel : 613-996-2247 – Twitter:


Donna Dasko

Tel: 613-943-3711 – Twitter:


Dennis Dawson

Tel : 613-995-3978 – Twitter:


Marty Klyne

Tel: 613-943-7933 – Twitter:


Fabian Manning

Tel: 613-947-4203


Jim Quinn

Tel: 613-944-1050 – Twitter:


Paula Simons

Tel: 613-943-8242 – Twitter:


Karen Sorensen

Tel: 613-944-1115 – Twitter:


Pamela Wallin

Tel: 613-996-2794 – Twitter:

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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: Read 112 articles by Admin RCI Action Committee Website
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