FLASHBACK: What’s wrong with Senate testimony on RCI’s 80% budget cut?

On May 1, 2013, the director of Radio Canada International (RCI) Hélène Parent and her boss Hubert Lacroix, the president of Canada’s national radio and television public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada were before a Canadian senate committee to explain the 80% budget cut to RCI.
Lacroix made the opening statement before the Senate Standing Committee [...]

FLASHBACK: Whole barracks around small shortwave receiver for Canadian federal election

“It pains me to hear that RCI will be leaving SW in June. Over the years I’ve counted on RCI to keep me connected with home, be it during my travels in Europe, Asia, and even the depths of the Amazon. Most of those areas have no access to [...]

FLASHBACK: Certificate of Recognition for the RCI Action Committee

In 2002 the Association of North American Radio Clubs (ANARC) awarded the RCI Action Committee with a Certificate of Recognition for our work in defending Radio Canada International. Here’s the text of the certificate:
Certificate of Recognition for the RCI Action Committee
The Association of North American Radio Clubs proudly presents a group Certificate of Recognition to [...]

FLASHBACK: 1945 first broadcast of int’l service

From the CBC Archives:
Broadcast Date: Feb. 25, 1945
The Second World War is winding down in Europe, but Canada’s new international shortwave radio service is just getting started. From its studios in Montreal and a web of shortwave transmission towers in Sackville, N.B., the service targets both Canadian and [...]

FLASHBACK: 2008 Cttee spokesperson suspended!

February 2008 – Action Committee spokesperson suspended!
Radio Canada International tries to “muzzle” communications union which represents RCI employees

The Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (FNC-CSN) is outraged by and condemns the three day suspension without pay of one of its union stewards, Wojtek Gwiazda. For years he has defended the international mandate of Canada’s Voice to [...]

FLASHBACK: 1982 – Ottawa news was important

On March 26, 1982 RCI inaugurated its Ottawa bureau. RCI Director Betty Zimmerman (fourth from left) with staff: three English and three French journalists. At the time, they were all kept very busy covering the nation’s capital. In 2010, one of the two (!) journalists of our reduced Ottawa bureau was [...]

FLASHBACK: KMPG: RCI Should Have Independent Funding

Study says RCI should not be integrated into the domestic service, the CBC/Radio-Canada
In October 1996, the Canadian component of KPMG, a accounting, tax and professional firm, released a report on RCI commissioned by the domestic radio and television service, CBC. The report came out at a time when RCI’s financial [...]

FLASHBACK: It’s always been about int’l mandate

An overview of the issues involved in RCI’s international mandate.
November/December, 2007 – Questions about the international mandate of Radio Canada International (RCI) were once again raised at a parliamentary committee as it prepares to issue a report on Canada’s public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada. The public broadcaster is responsible for RCI. And [...]

FLASHBACK: Parl Cttee: RCI essential int’l service

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 [...]

FLASHBACK: Our submission to parliamentary cttee

Below is what our Committee submitted to the Canadian Heritage Committee in 2001 in an attempt to protect the international mandate of Radio Canada International. (You can see the Standing Committee’s response here.)

Radio Canada International and the Broadcasting Act:
The Need to Protect RCI’s International Mandate and its Operational Autonomy
A submission to [...]

What can you do?

The administrators of RCI and our domestic service CBC/Radio-Canada make the decisions, but they are also responsible to Canadians through Parliament and the ruling Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
We need for these administrators, politicians and the media in Canada and in [...]

FLASHBACK: We lose half the programs/staff

It’s hard to believe it’s so long: March 22, 1991 when our reality at RCI changed so radically. In December of 1990, our parent company the public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced that the international service would be eliminated unless the federal government paid for it (CBC actually had up until then budgeted [...]

FLASHBACK: “Repositioning” – more bad news

On February 2, 2004 we had another “briefing meeting” about what was about to happen at RCI. Here’s a portion of what I wrote back then on the RCI Action Committee web site:
The briefing meeting is over. We’ve been told about the “repositioning”, feels more like shuffling the chairs on the Titanic. A [...]

FLASHBACK: Bad decision reversed

From the beginning of June till mid October 2001, the RCI newsroom was empty on weekends…….no journalist and no announcer producer was permitted to work at keeping the world up to date on Canadian news on the weekend. All RCI produced newscasts, and all live programming were cut as part [...]

FLASHBACK: Union on RCI mandate at Parl Cttee

On May 25, 2007, the union representing most of RCI’s employees (Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada) called on parliament’s Canadian Heritage committee to protect RCI’s mandate saying “there will be nothing preventing the CBC from changing its international service” unless “the Broadcasting Act has been amended to protect RCI’s Mandate.” [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Chaos on RCI website on last shortwave 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 [...]

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

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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Photos – Solidarity Rally – Rassemblement de solidarité

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.

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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 [...]

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Solidarity Rally – RCI – Rassemblement de solidarité

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 [...]

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