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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‘Modernizing’ RCI to death!

En français ici
On December 3, 2020, Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced “a major transformation” of Radio Canada International (RCI) titled “Modernizing Radio Canada International for the 21st century”. And if you didn’t know anything about the toxic relationship between the two, you would really think this was great news.
After all the [...]

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Changes to Radio Canada International come at expense to core mandate, say supporters

reprinted with permission The Hill Times
By NEIL MOSS May 5, 2021
‘Radio Canada International has just one mandate and that is to explain Canada to the world,’ says former host Wojtek Gwiazda.

A former host at Radio Canada International, Wojtek Gwiazda is behind a push to reverse changes that he fears will hamper the international [...]

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Bill C-10 threatens existence of Radio Canada International

The Canadian government has proposed a change to Canada’s Broadcasting Act that threatens the existence of Radio Canada International (RCI). Buried in a reform of the Act that focuses on international streaming services, one sentence, Article 46 (2) has been altered to remove the existence of an international service as a condition of the licence [...]

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Le projet de loi C-10 menace l’existence de Radio Canada International

Le gouvernement canadien a proposé une modification de la Loi canadienne sur la radiodiffusion qui menace l’existence de Radio Canada International (RCI). Enfoui dans une réforme de la Loi qui met l’accent sur les services de diffusion en continu internationaux, une phrase, l’article 46 (2) a été modifié pour supprimer l’existence d’un service international comme [...]

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Countdown reset – CBC not ready to “modernize” RCI on time

See below for updates.
Staff at Radio Canada International (RCI) has been told that CBC/Radio-Canada needs more time to implement its new RCI policy, which was scheduled to begin April 1.
At a video conference call on March 30, host-producers and webmasters, most of whom were to lose their jobs on April 1, were told the CBC/Radio-Canada [...]

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RCI a bridge between Canada and the world

reprinted with permission The Hill Times
By WOJTEK GWIAZDA MARCH 29, 2021

The CBC never understood that the uniqueness of RCI is that we explain Canada to the rest of the world. And at a time when Canada needs to be understood, Radio Canada International should be expanded and be ready for the challenges [...]

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CBC disinformation campaign against efforts to protect international mandate of Radio Canada International

On February 16, a day after an open letter by 32 prominent Canadians was sent to the Prime Minister defending the international mandate of Radio Canada International (RCI), a senior advisor in the Government Relations department of CBC sent an email about RCI saying “no one is using it.”
In the email sent to at least [...]

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Exembajadores canadienses consideran un error los cambios en RCI

En una carta abierta publicada el 18 de marzo de 2021, 45 exembajadores canadienses calificaron de error los cambios previstos en el mandato internacional de Radio Canadá Internacional (RCI).

“En tanto que diplomáticos que han servido a Canadá en todo el mundo, conocemos los beneficios que supone para nuestro país que el público extranjero conozca [...]

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Former Canadian Ambassadors say changes to RCI a mistake

In an open letter released March 18, 2021, 45 former Canadian ambassadors called planned changes to the international mandate of Radio Canada International (RCI) a mistake.
“As diplomats who have served Canada all over the globe, we know the benefits to our country of foreign audiences knowing about Canada.” The former ambassadors called for a halt [...]

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D’anciens ambassadeurs canadiens qualifient d’erreur les changements apportés à RCI

Dans une lettre ouverte publiée le 18 mars 2021, 45 anciens ambassadeurs canadiens ont qualifié les modifications prévues au mandat international de Radio Canada International (RCI) d’erreur.
«En tant que diplomates qui ont servi le Canada partout dans le monde, nous savons qu’il est avantageux pour notre pays que des auditoires [...]

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CBC letter to signatories about “confusion”, Committee response

Two days after our open letter to the Prime Minister and three of his ministers (see here), Shaun Poulter, the Executive Director of Strategy, Public Affairs, and Government Relations for our public broadcaster and RCI’s administrator, CBC/Radio-Canada, wrote an email to some of the signatories of the open letter.

It appears that signatories whose email [...]

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