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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RCI jobs eliminated, immigration mandate set aside

Last week was tough for Radio Canada International employees as we finally found out the impact of the $500,000 budget reduction because of the station leaving Sirius Satellite Radio. RCI’s new director Helene Parent had warned employees back in February (See Update from the new RCI Director ) that because of the drop in revenues, [...]

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20 Yr Anniv of Massive Cut and Hosts/Staff Saying Goodbye

Twenty years ago today on March 25, 1991, hosts and staff, in English, French and seven other language services said goodbye to listeners as they signed off,  after a massive cut was announced on March 22, 1991.
Cut were numerous employees from the French and English services, as well as the entire staff of the Czech, [...]

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Update from the new RCI Director

This morning, Helene Parent, RCI’s new director, called staff into her second staff meeting since becoming director December 22, 2010, to update the employees on the latest developments.
She reassured them that the financial situation of the French service of CBC/Radio-Canada (which has responsibility for RCI) was reasonably good, given the context of federal funding which [...]

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New RCI Director Meets Staff

RCI’s new Director Helene Parent held her first meeting with staff this morning. She told employees she had wanted to come to RCI, and looked forward to working with them. In her introductory statement Parent said that she would make time to talk to employees individually to hear suggestions and observations about the international service. [...]

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20th Anniversary of decision to cut RCI

Today, December 5th, is the 20th anniversary of the day Gerard Veilleux, the president of our domestic radio-television service CBC/Radio-Canada, announced Radio Canada International would only continue if the Canadian government paid for it.
This decision set off two decades of vulnerability, questioning, and changing of mandates that continues.
It also set off reaction through letters and [...]

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Ottawa news was important for RCI in 1982

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 sent [...]

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