Most employees and contractors of Radio Canada International, planning 80% cut, receive notices.

Posted: 01 May 2012   Print   Send a link
RCI Action Committee blog, 25 Apr 2012: "[E]ven when we say an 80% per cent budget cut, it sounds sort of theoretical. When the letter is given to you that you no longer have a job, that your decades of service to Canada’s Voice to the World are redundant, well, that’s something else. Today that happened to most of us. About 15 permanent staff have been told they still have a job, 30 have been told they don’t. Three contractual webmasters will remain, but about 10 to 20 contractual employees (researchers, interviewers, hosts) will lose their jobs. Another 10 or 20 people who fill in for staff will have little or no work. More importantly to us RCI has been almost made to disappear, no more radio programs, just a website, that is yet to be conceived, with little support. How much three employees in each of the five language services: English, French, Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish can do, even with the best of intentions, remains to be seen. ... Next week we are promised a blueprint of the new RCI. Today it’s hard to believe in that future."

Toronto Star, The Network, 1 May 2012, Thomas Witherspoon: "The recently announced cuts to the CBC have garnered considerable press. However, what has not received sufficient press is the story of the cuts which threaten the very existence of Radio Canada International. This oversight is likely because, sadly, many Canadians must not be aware of RCI, or of its valiant but unsung role in international relations. ... the Internet, while unquestionably a useful medium, can only travel as far as its (still-limited) availability; in other words, the Internet relies upon a costly infrastructure, not just at its source, but where it is received. Of course, while most of the people for whom I speak do not have Internet access, computers, or even electricity, those who do are often trapped under repressive government regimes whose censors track or control their citizens’ Internet usage, and sometimes use what they learn to control these individuals, to threaten them or worse. Shortwave radio, on the other hand? Radio, which requires most of its infrastructure at its source, has little regard for distance, and no regard for political borders, nor for who and how many join you to listen. This apparent information dinosaur travels at the speed of light, streams information wirelessly on affordable handheld devices (transistor radio, anyone?), is virtually immune to censorship, and leaves no tracks. ... Plus, shortwave radio represents the best option for basic emergency communications, far preferable to the vulnerable Internet."

The SWLing Post, 28 Apr 2012, Thomas Witherspoon: "[S]hould those of us who regularly use the internet ever experience a regional/national internet blackout or other potential communications disaster, shortwave radio would be a reliable communications medium of last resort. Broadcasters (like RCI) should not dispose of their broadcasting infrastructure during cuts."

The SWLing Post, 20 Apr 2012, Thomas Witherspoon: "To their credit, I’ve noticed that RCI programs (like The Link with Marc Montgomery) are continuing “business as usual.” I’ve noticed no degradation of their content or quality."

National Post, 23 Apr 2012, letter from A. Lawrence Healey: "The CBC fills me with guilt and pride: guilt, because, as with classical literature, I too often don’t make the effort necessary to mine the benefits of its enlightened programming; pride because it presents to the world, via Radio Canada International, just how truly blessed life can be here. I wish I could direct that 5% of the federal income tax I pay on my pension income go to support this international beacon of hope."

RCI Action Committee blog, 29 Apr 2012, note from Walt Salmaniw: "I vividly recall during my time serving with the Canadian military in Europe, in the 1980s, the whole barracks hovering around my small portable SW receiver, and listening to the Canadian federal election report via RCI. For the sake of a few dollars, RCI is going to be lost forever. Don’t let it happen."

RCI Action Committee blog, 29 Apr 2012: "Comment pouvez-vous mettre un stop à ces compressions de 80 % de Radio Canada International? Écrivez s’il vous plait au ministre canadien des Affaires extérieures, John Baird ainsi qu’au ministre des Finances, Jim Flaherty et au ministre de Patrimoine Canada."

See previous post about same subject.