About 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
Website: http://rciaction.org/blog
Admin RCI Action has written 79 articles so far, you can find them below.

VIDEO: TV report on the last day of radio on Radio Canada International

As the last radio newscasts and last radio programmes were broadcast, a journalist from our national public television broadcaster Raffy Boudjikanian interviewed a number of us to give viewers an understanding of what had happened to us: we stopped being a radio station after 67 years on the air.

What can you do to help us restore Radio Canada International? Please go here: http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/

Day 001 at the new (non-radio) Radio Canada International

The silence at Radio Canada International this morning was deafening.

Everywhere you looked, empty desks, silent studios, and the knowledge that we are now embarking on a road so very different from what we’ve ever known in the past. We have weathered innumerable cuts of people, programmes, language sections, finances. And we’ve survived, sometimes it seemed impossible that we could even imagine that we could go on. But we did. Now powers above us have taken away our soul, the core meaning of what we do. They’ve taken us off radio, and turned us into an on-line service, a service without any of our previous programming, designed to confirm the public relations needs of those who said Radio Canada International was being “transformed” not “destroyed”.

What you can do to help us, click here

Video of last RCI Russian programme

RCI’s Russian Section, was one of the services totally abolished by the 80% budget cut of Radio Canada International announced on April 4, 2012 by our national public radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada.

As the team reminisced about the service, the atmosphere was both melancholy and jovial.

В последней передаче RCI на русском языке сотрудники русской редакции вспоминают своих коллег и золотые времена Международного Канадского радио.

КАК МОЖНО НАМ ПОМОЧЬ?   http://rciaction.org/blog/what-you-can-do/

Tearful farewell to shortwave listeners from RCI host

Friday, June 22, 2012,  was the last day for the daily radio programs at Radio Canada International (RCI) as a result of the 80% budget, and the end of radio programming at Canada’s Voice to the World.

Among the goodbyes to listeners, the following one from Marc Montgomery, host of the English language daily show “The Link”. Click on the image to see the video:

Some photos of the last programs on Friday here

Chaos on RCI website on last shortwave weekend

"Not Found" is the message many are getting from RCI website this weekend

As Radio Canada International (RCI) broadcasts its last radio programming after 67 years as a broadcaster, the RCI website is in chaos. Apart from the home address www.rcinet.ca no other web addresses for programs or audio links are working.

The only way to find the last programmes of all the services is to go to http://www.rcinet.ca , enter the language service you want, and then look for the button “AUTRES SAISONS”. That takes you to an archive version of the site, and you should be able to find the latest program.

This change of the website, and the sloppy way that it’s being done, with no re-directs from links people usually use to listen to their favourite programmes is disturbing.

For shortwave listeners, as Kim Andrew Elliott pointed out, the shortwave schedule even in the archive version of the programme has already been taken off!

Last day for many at Radio Canada International, and Russian service

RCI's Russian Service Says Goodbye

It was the last day for many Radio Canada International employees today, June 22. The daily English program “The Link” and the daily French program “Tam Tam” broadcast their last editions today. And the teams for some of the pre-recorded weekend programs also signed off and said goodbye to listeners as RCI stops being a radio station.

A moving, and yet surprisingly jovial atmosphere, as the Russian team signed off both from radio and from being one of the services at RCI. It and the program for Brazil were among the services abolished as part of the 80% budget cut announced April 4, 2012. As well journalists gathered in the newsroom, as many signed off, turned off their computers, with only a few left for the weekend’s last newscasts.

As of June 25th, none of RCI’s programming will remain. Our presence will be limited to the website, and will reflect the few resources we have left.

We’ll have more photos tomorrow here and on our Facebook page, but in the meantime, a photo of our Russian team as they recorded their last edition of the show today.

UPDATE – June 23, 2012 – Some more photos of the last shows below. And soon, more photos of the last days.

Hector Vilar, Gilda Salomone, Cristane Hirata - last day for Brazil programme

Terry Haig (later he signed off Maple Leaf Mailbag) and Marc Montgomery doing the last edition of RCI's "The Link"

Raymond Desmarteau and national reporter Frank Rackow in last edition of RCI's "Tam Tam" French Service

RCI's Arabic Service saying goodbye to radio listeners

RCI's Spanish Service

One of the last radio programs from RCI's Chinese Service

Wojtek Gwiazda signing off on last edition of RCI's MASALA CANADA

BREAKING: Senator calls RCI cuts “reprehensible” and calls for inquiry

Less than an hour ago, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper published an article by journalist Chris Cobb titled: “Tory senator wants CBC called on carpet for slashing shortwave service”

The first paragraph reads:

Unless the CBC rethinks its “utterly reprehensible” decision to eliminate Radio Canada International’s shortwave service, its senior managers will be called to explain the decision to a special Senate inquiry, Conservative Senator Hugh Segal said Thursday.

Read the rest of the article here:

Photos – Solidarity Rally – Rassemblement de solidarité

Solidarity Rally for Radio Canada International, June 20, 2012

There was high energy June 20, 2012 as Radio Canada International employees demonstrated outside their offices to protest the 80% cut to their budget, and the end of radio programming on June 24.

For more photos click here. Also see the photo set of Tous amis de Radio-Canada here.

Meet the people of Radio Canada International – les gens de RCI

In March of 2008, the RCI Action Committee presented Hubert Lacroix, the president of Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada, with a four page document. We were welcoming the new president with an outline of our concerns of how Canada’s Voice to the World had been handled by the CBC over the previous years. It included observations and suggestions. It also included a sampling of answers from a survey we had carried out of RCI employees.

He never got back to us.

Here’s that page from our document:


Some selected questions and responses to the RCI Action Committee Questionnaire of employees, February 2008:

What’s the thing that makes you happiest about RCI?

  • “Knowing that in my years here, I honestly did my best and was recognized by listeners in several countries for my efforts.”
  • “The feeling of ‘ownership’ and pride employees have about RCI.”
  • « Expliquer le Canada à la planète. »
  • « Quand les soldats de Saddam écoutaient RCI et non V.O.A ou la B.B.C. durant la guerre (Réf : ‘Le Monde’). »
  • « Que, depuis toujours, les employés sont très concernés par le sort de RCI et font tout pour sauver cette boite! »
  • « Ses artisans. La passion des collègues. »
  • « Rien (aujourd’hui). »
  • « J’espère que l’arrivée d’un nouveau président pourra déranger les choses.»
  • “Telling great stories about Canada. Knowing that people around the world hear our programs…”
  • « Les employés de RCI qui, malgré les difficultés, le manque de ressources, les changements de direction, etc. continuent de croire en la pertinence de RCI et à lutter pour son survie. »
  • « Mon boulot.»
  • “Professionalism of colleagues, lack of ego and backstabbing among staff (from what I can see and/or experience) in most instances. Conducive to a better work atmosphere.”
  • “To have contact with listeners.”
  • “Listeners’ letters.”
  • “We represent Canada internationally.”
  • “Knowing that RCI is (was?!) one of the most trusted and respected services in the world.”
  • “The fact it still exists.”
  • “The professionalism.”
  • “People working here.”
  • “The chance to practice a form of journalism that hasn’t been conceived to sell cars, beer, or a specific set of policies.”

Quel a été votre plus grand moment de fierté à RCI?

  • « Lorsque des gens me racontent qu’ils nous ont écouté alors qu’ils étaient en difficulté parce qu’ils étaient persécutés dans leur pays… »
  • « Mon entrée dans le service. »
  • « La combativité des employés déployés pour assure la survie du service. »
  • « En 1990-91, lorsque le personnel de RCI, avec l’appui indéfectible de son fidèle auditoire, a relevé les manches pour relever le défi de la survie de RCI menacé de disparaître. »
  • “The way employees rallied to save RCI in 1991.”
  • “Reading listeners’ mails.”
  • “Yet to come (I hope).”
  • “Realization that RCI matters to so many people (in Canada and outside). This happened in the 1990’s when RCI was threatened (3 times) and tonnes of letters were received in support of RCI.”
  • “That we actually pull it off with so few resources.”
  • “The way the audience responds to our work.”
  • “Every day has its proud moments.”
  • “Being part of a great organisation before the cuts.”
  • “The times when we hosted annual international broadcasting conferences attended by all the main international radios.”
  • « Il y en a eu plusieurs : à chaque fois qu’un auditeur écrit ou téléphone pour dire qu’il apprécie le travail de notre équipe. »
  • “Turning on the mic, and stating: ‘You’re listening to Radio Canada International.’”

Solidarity Rally – RCI – Rassemblement de solidarité

Radio Canada International employees

This Wednesday, June 20, 2012, the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada, the  union representing almost all Radio Canada International employees,  is organizing a solidarity rally in Montreal, in front of the CBC/Radio-Canada building.

Most of the people you see in the photo have worked for decades explaining Canada to the world. Most will no longer be at RCI after our national public radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced an 80% cut in our budget.

RCI will no longer be a radio station. The last day of radio programming will be June 24, 2012. Our newsroom will be closed down. The Russian Service and the programme for Brazil will be abolished.  Our only presence will be on the Internet, and even there we will not continue any of our present programming.

We are calling on the Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore, to explain why on June 7, 2012, two months after CBC/Radio-Canada announced we would no longer be on shortwave radio, he paved the way for the end of our radio programming by changing the 2003 Order in Council that obliged us to be on shortwave and to consult with the ministry of Foreign affairs on geographic target areas and broadcast languages.

We are calling on the Canadian government to reverse the minister’s decision, to stop the cuts at RCI, and to give us financial autonomy from CBC/Radio-Canada.

For more details about the solidarity rally, click on the photo. Thanks!

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