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Action Committee Meets CBC President

On Monday, October 1, 2001, two representatives of the RCI Action Committee, spokesman Wojtek Gwiazda, and Committee member Sheldon Harvey (who is also the President of the Canadian International DX Club, a pan-Canadian listeners association) met with the President of CBC/Radio-Canada, Robert Rabinovitch. Also present, was the CBC Vice-President responsible for RCI, Sylvain Lafrance.

The meeting was called after the Chairperson of the CBC’s Board of Directors, Carole Taylor, spoke to the Committee, and informed us that Rabinovitch was willing to meet with us. (A request that had been made on May 9, 2001 with no response from the President.)

The meeting lasted one hour (it had been scheduled to last a half hour). It was held two days before the CBC Board of Directors meeting of October 3 and 4.

Both Rabinovitch and Lafrance reiterated their conviction that the integration of RCI services into the domestic service would increase “efficiency” and “enhance programming”.

We were told, that the decision on the future of RCI would be communicated to RCI employees soon. But it was clear that RCI, like other components of the CBC/Radio-Canada, would have to adapt to budgetary restraints, and the pressures to do things more efficiently with the same resources, even though, the entire budget comes from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, which has promised permanent funding of $15.5 million. The budget is not indexed to the cost of inflation.

On the whole, the Committee was disappointed by the result of the meeting. For the last six months, since the e-mail of the President, there have been few public meetings with RCI staff. And almost no consultation with staff about the directions RCI and CBC executives are taking.

CBC Board Directors are meeting October 3 and 4. RCI is on their agenda.
For more details and how to get in touch with the Directors see:

"CBC Directors Can Play Crucial Role in Future of RCI"