Comments - Suggestions - Commentaires
Repositioning 2004: Cutting Off Largest Group of English  Speakers

I am saddened to see RCI following in the BBC's lead with its reduction in its shortwave service.  Contrary to what many Canadians may believe, there are Americans who don't believe that Canada is a northern version of the USA, and shortwave radio is an excellent way to get that message across.  Many here in New England have Canadian roots- this writer included (Quebec and NS [Nova Scotia] ) - and the radio is a tie to those roots.  Others like Deutsche Welle and now RTE have gone the way of the BBC by cutting English services to the largest group of English speakers in the world.  Please don't follow these lemmings off the cliff!

Dan Malloy, Everett, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

More Programs, not More Cuts

I think the cuts being made to RCI is ridiculous. I have watched it deteriorate over the past twenty years and now even more. We who spend time outside Canada need this service. On several occasions this service has saved us from making serious mistakes while traveling. On one
particular time we were about to cross the Mexican border and only due to listening to the early morning newscast did we learn of riots going on that day. We were able to alert people we were to join with on the other side of the border and all stayed put until everything was OK
again. This and local programs from different parts of Canada have helped us many times during the years and often I find because of this we are better informed than many other travelers. Rather than make more cuts please restore some of those programs that have been cut.

Betty MacDonald, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Don't Ruin a Great Service

To Whom It May Concern:
It appears that Radio Canada International, like some other International broadcasters, may be looking at the elimination of some or much of its shortwave programming, perhaps in favor of the Internet. This would be a shame. As a resident of Southern California in the United States, I count on RCI to provide me with news and views about your beautiful country far
to the north.

Contrary to what you might think, I'm not an old guy who picked up an interest in shortwave radio before World War II. I'm 29 and have been listening to shortwave for 15 years. I have a computer and have taken  to the Internet like anyone else. However, this does not mean I want to get  all my news off the 'Net. The Internet provides lots of text and photos but comes up short on so many levels….

There are other many others, including myself, who have computers but would much rather get their news from shortwave radio. Yes, we've got CNN, Headline News, local news and all that other biased, poorly produced garbage, but none of it compares to the quality news Americans can get from organizations like RCI. You have a great thing going, don't ruin it by taking an ill-advised path to save a few bucks. With shortwave radio, you truly tell the world about Canada on a daily basis.
Thank you.

Chris Boyd,Rancho Palos Verdes, California, USA
[Sent to the Action Committee, CBC Board of Directors, Canadian Heritage Minister Copps, former Foreign Affairs Minister and now Deputy Prime Minister, John Manley]

Bring back the RCI we know and love

Where is the RCI I have listened to for several decades?

Yours has been one of the best stations on shortwave and provided many good quality programs on various topics and truly educated the World about Canada. It is now a shadow of its former glory.

Many listeners are extremely disappointed in these diminishings of such a good radio station and we all urge you to please bring back the RCI we know and love.

The Internet and satellite services are no substitute for millions of listeners around the globe. Do not turn your back on them.

Michael C. McCarty, N8EYE & Long-Time SWL,  Plain City, Ohio, USA

Sent to: RCI, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley and Finance Minister Paul Martin

A shame what's happening at RCI

I think this is a shame.

I have listened to RCI over the last years on SW, both to get a good coverage of what happened in Canada and the world and to improve my English and French language skills...

Are we going to rely only to CNN for international news in the future ???

Kind regards,
Jef Vanraepenbusch, Gent, Belgium

In Canada's Arctiic shortwave only way to keep track of Canadian news

This week with the Code Red Worm and the slowdown of the Internet is a perfect example for why putting RCI and BBC programming streaming on the Internet is premature.

OK, maybe in a couple of years, but here in the Arctic, we're not due to get highspeed Internet till 2004, if then. See the National Broadband Taskforce report. This entire community of 1400 is sharing 64kbps, which is just about unusable during congested periods in the daytime.

In addition, anything that happens to downgrade RCI is likely to affect Nunavut.

We listen constantly to the North Quebec CBC Shortwave Service up here, which is broadcast from the same transmitter site as RCI on 9625kHz. Out in the Inuit outpost camps and in all the mineral exploration camps, it's the only way to keep track of Canadian news.

In fact, I even use it when I'm travelling in the States, which is like stepping into a Canadian news vacuum.

Orin Durey, Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada

A Shortwave Coalition is most certainly needed

You are on-target with
your call for a coalition that can develop a voice loud enough to be heard over the technobabble that says the world is swiftly moving to computers for all communication.

This, of course, is not true. One doesn't have to look far beyond his or her office or home window to see that far less than any kind of majority of the world's population is now interconnected via the Internet, or soon will be. To abandon those who not soon will be "wired," nor will have the money to spend on such a luxury is narrow sighted.

To assume that an Internet will always be connected and that satellites will always be working is to put your reliance on a very vulnerable form of communications. And, without all the wires and the satellites, where will this new wave in communications be? And, when? Just at a time when the communicators are seeking to reach as many of their target audience as possible? It is folly to take this action at this time…

A coalition of knowledgeable people, energetic people, individuals and entities with resources and contacts, is most certainly needed if international broadcasting via short wave radio is to live and thrive into this new century...

Someone must reach the inner sanctums and decision makers on their behalf. It appears obvious that is not being done now, for reasons and agendas one can only wonder about. 
Entire letter at Shortwave Comments.

Vern Modeland, Arkansas, USA

Shortwave is dramatic, exciting and vital

I could go on for hours about my enjoyment of shortwave broadcasts.

For one thing, shortwave listening does not keep me living in the past. It does the opposite, through shortwave I have access to what is happening now, and I have an exciting means of getting that news.

Shortwave listening is for me a vital link in the vast "network" of global communications that we enjoy today. I can tune the shortwave bands at will, and when I've heard a program of interest I can run over to the computer to instantly comment on that program to the broadcaster!

I don't view the broadcast media as competing technologies (although unfortunately they are given that "spin" by whichever medium seems to feel a need to show its superiority); I see them as complementary, and the example I just gave should illustrate that.

Shortwave is as dramatic, as exciting and I argue as vital as it ever was. Although viewed by many as a "hobby", it is so much more than that. Shortwave both informs and entertains, two equally important qualities that only increase their allure for me over the years.

Without shortwave broadcasting something immeasurably intriguing would be lost. I love computers, but it's unthinkable to imagine that internet broadcasting would be portrayed as a replacement for it.

Chuck Ermatinger St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Shortwave will NEVER be a dinosaur

I have 6-8 different shortwave receivers (Not bragging) but I just enjoy listening to what's going on in the rest of the world. The USA is a fine place but the TV is lousy except for channels such as History, Discovery etc.

I watch very little TV so I really enjoy tuning in a station around the world and listening. I still have that right to decide what I watch/listen to, rather than what the papers or networks want to me to listen to or read.

Shortwave will NEVER be a dinosaur. The internet servers a purpose but can not and will not replace "Shortwave Listening"!!

Ken Foshee, Alabama, USA

Please do not tarnish our international standing and reputation

Mr Chretien:

I am writing to you as I am concerned with the recently slashed services of the CBC's international arm, Radio Canada International. Though guaranteed a stable budget, the lack of cost indexing means RCI has had to take decisions to substantially reduce their activities.

You are fond of leading our business leaders around the world on tours designed to exploit Canada's reputation in the world in order to realize economic growth.

I suggest to you that Canada's image overseas is largely formed by its' foreign voice, RCI. Canada is seen the world over as a forward thinking, open society which many of our trading partners would like to emulate. To allow our foreign voice to be whittled down, particularly in the foreign tongues which are the native languages of these trading partners reduces our positive exposure to them...

….a perception that Canada is paring down its' expenditures which are visible overseas would insinuate an approaching Canadian economic downturn. RCI is a large part of our foreign image and is good advertising for a paltry sum….

Please do not allow petty financial exercises to tarnish or diminish our international standing and reputation.
All of the letter.


Jon Stampe, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

I fervently hope that RCI will survive the series of crises

In an age of globalisation, I fail to understand why Canada wants to cut down its global communication link. Canada needs to play a larger political role in the international forum which will requires an efficient short wave service.

The Internet and new technology communications means are not available to the majority of the people of the world, the more than five-sixths of the world population. If Canada were to rely only on new communication technology, she will miss both political and trade opportunities within the areas inhabited by those areas.

Moreover, one radio set can serve large groups of listeners while Internet can be used by one person at a time and at a separate cost. (It is not like a newspaper which can be read by several people at no extra cost.)

I deplore the concerned authorities lack of interest in maintaining an extremely important political, cultural and even business tool. I fervently hope that RCI will survive the series of crises and continue to be "Canada's voice to the world."

Wasim Ghani, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The integrity of RCI journalists is widely acknowledged and respected

M. Jean Chretien
Prime Minister Canada.

I am writing in protest at your Government’s proposals for reductions in your external broadcasts from RCI.

I have been a regular listener on short wave for over 20 years and I have been entertained, informed and educated about your country. The broadcasts are invariably of a very high standard and the science and technology programmes such as Quirks and Quarks are among the best in broadcasting.

The reception on short wave has been exceptionally clear for a number of years which adds to the level of enjoyment of the programmes and which always amazes friends from Canada when they visit me.

My nephew decided on Canada for his honeymoon partly as a result of being a listener to Radio Canada International and the positive image conveyed by the station.

Yet the broadcasts have never been mere propaganda; on the contrary, the integrity of the RCI journalists is widely acknowledged and respected.

I would ask, Sir, that your government reconsider its plans for RCI. It is and always has been a wonderful ambassador for your country.

Colin Ash, Ystrad Mynach, Wales, Great Britain

Canadians complain how ignorant Americans are of Canada... this ignorance will be forced upon us by YOU.

I was going to rely on your station now that the BBC has decided to go "totalnet". Now I find you are doing the same thing!

I don't have time most of the week to listen to broadcasts, yet I always do on the weekend.(Well, at least I WAS) My father is a Quebecois, and RCI was the only link I have to Canada.

And while YES, its reeeallly nice that you can access your programs through the web, guess what: A lot of Americans don't have home internet access. Most of us only have it at work. And OBVIOUSLY we aren't allowed to spend all day playing RCI stuff. And those of us who DO have it, never see the computer cuz the kids are too busy downloading MP3s.

Please reconsider this action. Canadians complain how ignorant Americans are of this ignorance will be forced upon us by YOU.

Ms. Ariel Shoresh, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

To scale RCI back is really losing it,
let us not imagine that anything else is true.

Dear Mr. [Paul] Martin [Finance Minister],

I have watched for over a decade as successive cuts have been made to the CBC and to Radio Canada International. I feel that the time has come to revive both these services with transfusions of funds...

As for Radio Canada International, it performs relatively the same function for both Canadians abroad and for citizens of countries all over the globe. If we are truly different, then RCI can tell the world. I am convinced that informing the world about Canada will have effects beyond what can be immediately measured and which are beneficial to Canada in terms of trade, good-will and respect. To lose this service is unthinkable. To scale it back is really losing it, let us not imagine that anything else is true.

In a world where phone companies are going broke because they poorly defined the need for and impact of services, we know that the experts have definitely gone wrong in judging what comes next. Please do not let the Government of Canada show such poor judgement...

One last point is that shortwave radios have never been cheaper or better than right now. While sales are not as brisk as they are for CD players, the radios still appear on shelves and seem to enjoy demand. If I were to travel tomorrow, I would be taking one with me to monitor Canadian news. Millions more worldwide can now afford these radios. The demand exists for RCI. Please do not let errant fools try to tell you that they predict the demise of international broadcasting.
All of the letter

Your sincerely,
Peter Henry, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Insidious attempt to eliminate the service completely...

To Whom it May Concern:

I'm appalled with recent moves by RCI to cut its weekend newscasts and to slash weekday programming at Canada's international broadcaster. For over 50 years, RCI has built a solid reputation in the international broadcasting arena. It's widely respected for the quality of its programs.

However if you don't broadcast news on the weekends and you essentially become a 9 to 5 operation during the week, how can you expect to be taken seriously? I understand that network news will take the place of English and French newscasts on the weekend, but the point of RCI is to contextualize Canada to foreign listeners. CBC news simply doesn't do this. As for listeners in the other language sections, their news needs are completely ignored on the weekend.

I recognize that RCI has a budgetary situation and that some reorganization needs to take place. But tough times require innovative solutions. Cutting newscasts isn't innovative - it's destroying RCI's credibility. Not only is this a disservice to its listeners, it sullies Canada's reputation and identity abroad.

I have three questions.

1. Why has RCI not received adequate funding to avoid cuts to programming?
2. Why haven't Canadians been informed of the changes that have taken place as a result of the cuts?
3. What is RCI, the federal government, the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, and Heritage doing to protect this vital Canadian institution?

As a casual observer it seems clear that cutbacks at RCI are an insidious attempt to eliminate the service completely, or at the very least they will reshape the organization in a way that fails to consider the needs of its listeners, or its mandate.

Tina Verma, media consultant,Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sent to:
Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Minister Sheila Copps, Minister John Manley

Canada as a nation has a much more balanced viewpoint

   I am writing to you as a dedicated listener of RCI, and as someone who is deeply troubled by what I hear about it these days. Though I am not Canadian, RCI is very important to me, as it is with most short-wave listeners in the USA.

You see, without a strong voice like RCI, our primary source for news and news analysis would be our own domestic news broadcasters. As you well know, however, these sources provide an extremely one-sided view of the issues. This is most prevalent concerning issues of global concern, such as the environment, peace, debtor nations, etc.

In each of these cases, and more, Canada as a nation has a much more balanced viewpoint, and we down here NEED to hear that viewpoint. That is where RCI comes in. I've been listening since 1993, and I'm happy to say that RCI has always been there for me, offering an alternative and balanced viewpoint.

It is my sincere hope that you will commit yourself to maintaining a strong and independent RCI. The voice of Canada depends on it, but we, your loyal listening audience down here, depend on it too. Thank you.

Tim Manwell, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Sent to:

Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Minister Sheila Copps, Minister John Manley

Cuts despite no apparent funding crisis

Dear Minister Copps,

As a long time short wave listener in the U.S, I could always count on RCI for interesting and informational English language broadcasts. RCI is particularly enjoyable on the weekends when I have more time to listen.

Now I am disappointed to learn that drastic cuts are being made to RCI broadcasts despite no apparent funding crisis. Further, my weekend listening will be severely impacted....

Short wave remains a viable, efficient long range radio service. It is unparalleled in its communication of global culture and news events. Emerging digital modulation technology will improve reception considerably.

I believe that governments needs to reassess the usage of short wave in this era of globalization. Decreasing or eliminating short wave broadcasts is not the right direction. Careful thought and long term planning can make these services self sustaining and complement other technologies such as the Internet.
All of the letter

David Forrai, Beavercreek, Ohio, USA

As a radio broadcaster I know you have to relate to your audience

Dear Ms. Copps/Mr.Manley

As a shortwave listener for many years, Radio Canada International has always  been, not only one of my favourite international voices, but, I know, one of  the most highly respected broadcasters in the world.

Whilst I enjoy the CBC relays of programmes like "World At Six" and "As It
Happens", they cannot represent your Country in the big world outside, as
their primary audience is national one.

As a radio broadcaster myself, I know that you have to relate to your
audience. Canada needs a dedicated team of broadcasters who can build up and maintain relations with its audience in Europe, in Africa, South America, or wherever in the world RCI is broadcasting.

It seems that RCI has been under pressure for many years- it has always been fighting cutbacks. Over the last few years, the RCI service to Europe has quietly been cut down. First it was the afternoon broadcast, then the "World
At Six "relay, now the breakfast broadcast, and weekend news. The rot needs
to be stopped. RCI can effectively promote tourism, industry, culture, and indeed all things Canadian. I'm not against some domestic programmes being relayed (I quite enjoy them), but the CBC Domestic Service will always be talking to the Canadian people.

Canada needs to speak to the world- only an effective RCI can do that.

Here in Scotland, the BBC and other media, largely ignore Canada, despite our strong ties. I wonder how many British people would know who your Prime
minister was. But we all know who runs your Southern neighbours.

Canada needs to maintain, and develop all means of promoting itself - not cut
them out.

Stewart Fenwick, (Country Presenter- Central FM Radio)
Clackmannan, Scotland

I depend on RCI for a Canadian view


Why can't the CBC leave RCI alone?

I depend on RCI to provide me a Canadian view of Canada and the world as opposed to the US media's tendency to portray Canada as the "51st state". I really enjoy listening to the feature programs on the weekends - often retiring to a hammock in the garden with my Sony portable radio.

I would also like to take this opportunity to protest the lack of an evening English transmission to the West Coast of the United States. I often miss the 0100 UTC broadcast on weekdays due to work demands.

Thank you, Alan Johnson, Reno, Nevada, USA

Copps answer typical of politicians in this day and age

response of Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps to the question posed by Christiane Gagnon is typical of politicians in this day and age. It goes on at documentable length and manages to say nothing directly addressing the question.

Please keep RCI alive for those of us around the world who count on the voice of Canada as a valuable resource for news, information and entertainment.
from Vern Modeland, Flippin, Arkansas, USA

Want programs back!!

Dear Minister Sheila Copps,

Is it REALLY impossible to find funds to bring all cut RCI programs back ?
What about goverment money surplus, so widely advertised ?
What about the image of Canada in the world ? (In my case: in Russian speaking part of it)
What about to ask private companies for sponsorship ?
When Russian programs were cut, the part of my life was cut too!
I (and not only I) want them back !!!

With respect.
Ilja Moston,  Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Astonishing and bizarre situation at RCI

Madame Copps:

Let me express my deepest and sincerest concern over the astonishing and bizarre situation happening at this moment in Radio Canada International, affecting its broadcasts and more important, its employees and families...

For many Latin Americans, the only way to know about Canada is through RCI, and especially from its weekend program "Contestación a la Correspondencia", from its Spanish Service…

Many shows have been cancelled, others are near their end. Radio Canada International is being left almost starving to die in the saddest way. This is so ironic, considering recent statements you've made May 6th, 2000: "I think the government has had a chance to understand and rethink the importance of RCI as an international voice for Canada to the world. And the investment that we’re making in RCI, is part of that permanent package... there are many, many millions of people who still depend on shortwave radio for that reliable service..."

Those statements, in contrast to your recent actions, leave us foreigners with a sense that Canadian Government is not always telling the truth to people…

Given the present confusion I respectfully request that you look into this troubling situation, and I would also request that you consider letting some representatives of the RCI Action Committee participate in the discussions about RCI’s future…

Radio Canada International has been promoting itself very successfully for a long time as "your friend on shortwave". Please help us keep our dear friend alive and well.
All of the letter

Best regards,
Rafael Rojas Cremonesi, Puerto La Cruz, Anzoátegui, Venezuela

Les émissions doivent continuer

Je ne souhaite pas la disparition de RCI, ni même la réduction de ses programmes en Français, ni dans une autre langue.

Je vous demande au contraire d'encourager les efforts des Animateurs et de leur donner tous les moyens de continuer leurs tâches.

Les émissions doivent continuer.

Je vous remercie.
A Bientôt.
De la part de Jean-Luc GUILLAUME

Internet not as portable or easy as turning on radio

Dear Minister [Copps]

As a Canadian living abroad, and a long-time regular listener to Radio Canada International, I have learned with astonishment, anger and frustration that a government which boasts of record surpluses cannot find the funding necessary to keep a decent and worthy international radio service on the air.

It appears that morning broadcasts to Europe are to end, that no human being will actually be behind a microphone during the weekend and that even during the week there will be a series of 30 minute recorded re-runs in place of live programming.

Radio Canada International, if reduced to this pitiable state, will quickly wither and die.

Canadians abroad like me listen regularly to Radio Canada International in the same way we listen to radio generally, and the same way that most Canadians listen to radio in Canada - at breakfast time, in the kitchen, at the push of a button on a radio set.

Yes, of course it is possible to hear CBC and Radio-Canada output over the Internet (which I do now and again) but until computers become as portable and as easy to switch on as the ordinary radio set, Internet radio listening will not replace traditional broadcasting, even in Europe, where I live.

I cannot believe that a marginal cost of a couple of million devalued Canadian dollars is beyond the means of your department or the government of Canada in order to enable Radio Canada International remain a real broadcaster, and provide a service of quality both to Canadians abroad and, on behalf of all Canadians, to a loyal and enthusiastic international audience.

Yours very truly,
James Leavy, Paris, France
cc: Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Minister John Manley

The concern is not that RCI will continue to exist,
but that it will exist as canned programming

Dear Minister Copps:

I write this, from my desk in Connecticut, with a certain
diffidence. I recognize that my right to tell the government of
Canada how to allocate its resources is circumscribed at best.

But I have been following the proposed reorganization of Radio
Canada International's services, and I believe that I must say
something about them.

Over the years, RCI has somehow managed to strike a balance of
"sounding Canadian" while being accessible to much of the rest
of the world. The concern is not that RCI will continue to
exist, but that it will exist in a can, so to speak:
spliced-together programmes that _sound_ spliced together.

The concept of having canned programming, and no live news, on
weekends is setting RCI up to sound something like the
embarrassing shards of what passes for radio network news in the
United States. (Or National Pubic Radio's news programmes -- the
best the USA has, and the ones that most resemble CBC's -- after
an amateurish college station has gotten hold of them.) A little
less professional, a little less live...a little more obsolete.

I deeply hope that Radio Canada International can resolve this
unfortunate impasse without compromising its globally respected

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Yours truly,

Edward Janusz, Stonington, Connecticut, USA

Canada should supply more money to RCI

What is going on with RCI!!!!:

What about the people who travel around the world and want to hear some news from home when travelling abroad. With the cuts to RCI, it doesn't look good.

I think Canada should supply more money to RCI.What about the surplus we have from all the taxpayers who all paid a little extra.

I will say this, as a listener to RCI, probably repeat this over again, I am mad as HELL!!!!  Canada, should get on the ball, supply more money, we have the damn surplus!!!!

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this.

Yours truly,
Mad As Hell!!!!  Michael Rochon, Windsor, Ontario

Domestic CBC proposals for RCI reek of horrible ideas and naivete

Dear Hon. Ms. Copps,

…there is a long-standing joke, based on the laughable propaganda broadcasts by eastern bloc stations during the Cold War, about stations reading tractor production statistics at us. Frankly, nobody cares how many tractors a given country has produced except possibly the people producing them.

But the programs that are being recommended by CBC for RCI reek of such horrible ideas in an attempt to "inject" listeners abroad with the desire to make deals with Canada and Canadian companies. This is a naive view of how international broadcasting works.

Such naivete is not displayed in the programs that are currently (or were until recently) produced by the employees of Radio Canada International…

By tying RCI broadcasts to the CBC, Canada's government ensures that important programming decisions will be made by people without adequate understanding of the implications this will have on Canada's image abroad….

I ask you to take one further step in your support for RCI. I urge the Canadian government to live up to its commitments to international broadcasting as represented in the RCI charter, to reinstate broadcasts at full length and with full journalistic coverage, and to resist the assimilation of RCI into the domestic CBC structure.

Thank you for your time.


Ralph Brandi, Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA

Please see the rest of this letter, it has many interesting points.

This routine of having to save RCI is getting tiresome.

Dear People:

This routine of having to save RCI is getting tiresome.

Someone in the Canadian government keeps hoping to believe that gutting Radio Canada International budgets is somehow going to bring a financial windfall to the Federal Government.

It was not true in the past & it is still not true. RCI services are listened to worldwide by intelligent people from educators to businessmen to journalists to students, etc., etc.

RCI needs both shortwave and internet outlets….

The internet is not a panacea. Just as internet access alone is not going to feed and provide water for the people of the developing world, it also cannot inform those in both developed and developing worlds where the infrastructure and costs DO NOT ALLOW IT. 
All of the letter

Best regards, Ralph Famularo, Osaka, Japan

No news on weekends! Terrible.

I am appalled by RCI planned cuts. No news at weekends! Terrible. I have been listening on short-wave to RCI for years.

May I wish you well in your actions to lessen or prevent cuts. The powers that be at RCI are totally misguided.  

Thanks for all you are doing.

from David Ansell, Sussex, England

RCI: For the normal Canadian without a parliamentarian's salary

Canadians wherever in Canada, rely on CBC shortwave for Canadian news and international news, I am one of these Canadians.

There are many parts of Canada that there is no local service, thus one has to listen to shortwave to get news, weather etc. Whether I am back packing in the rockies, canoeing, or traveling in my RV. I find it very comforting to tune in Radio Canada International.

I realize that in specific areas there are other services, and if one can afford it there are satellite services, but for the normal Canadian not making a salary of a parliamentarian, shortwave is the poor man's system.

Please do whatever it takes to keep such a wonderful service.

from Larry Palmer, Perth, Ontario, Canada


CANADA enjoys a world reputation for being a leader in many fields.

To cut the transmission of this multi-language dissemination of Information to the world ....IS A DISGRACE!!!


Marty Hornstein, VE2MH, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Domestic programmes cannot replace RCI's dedicated programming

Dear Ms Copps

Once again Radio Canada International is facing drastic cuts in its program output. I have been listening to & enjoying RCI for many years and value its service.

Governments in general do not seem to understand the value of and the influence of an overseas shortwave service. In times of crisis they have a valuable role to play. You cannot just set it up when you think you may need it.

To replace dedicated news with relays of domestic programmes is not satisfactory since a foreign audience in many cases does not have the necessary background to fully understand the references.

I hope that you will lend your suport to halting the present planned cuts and restore annual funding increases at least in line with inflation.

Regards, Tim Grundey, Kemnay, Inverurie, Scotland

To Minister Copps:
Stop the funding cuts to Radio Canada International

Dear Minister Copps:
I am writing to urge you to do all you can to stop funding cuts to Radio Canada International. As a frequent visitor to Canada, I depend on RCI's shortwave transmissions to keep in touch with news, and political/cultural developments in your country.

Cessation of weekend news and feature production will be a great loss to me as well as to millions of other listeners.

Thank you, Dr. Saul Broudy Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Canadian Government will lose credibility in the world

I think that among the points that need to be made to the Canadian Parliament is that the budget cuts to RCI will affect the good will that has been built up over the years.

This means that the Canadian Government will lose its credibility in the World in the aid that it has given in the past to the developing countries.

Hence with no Canadian voice to the World , why should the developing countries be bothered with help from Canada , they will try to obtain aid elsewhere if they can find it at all.

Yours faithfully,

Nick Sharpe, Middlesex, Great Britain


Great Scott!!! 42% raise for the PM, 20% (over and above COL raises)
for MPs -- and starve Radio Canada International?!?!?! Appalling!!!

Ron Gray,
National Leader, Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Good journalists and writers reveal the larger picture

An Open Letter to the Rt. Hon. Sheila Copps, Heritage Minister;

As the highest authority mandated to nurture and protect the culture of our country, please allow me to draw your attention to the plight of Canada's major cultural institution: CBC's Radio Canada International….

Writers and broadcasters identify, clarify and describe various aspects of culture. Good journalists and writers are honoured everywhere, because they have the ability and the opportunity to reveal the larger picture, the deeper meaning behind current events, public figures or popular movements…

If we confine or stop this process of evaluation, we will undoubtedly be a poorer society. 
All of the letter

from Alexandra Hawryluk, RCI feature writer, Lachine, Quebec, Canada

Surprised and shocked

I am surprised and shocked that RCI would cut programming at a time when they should be INCREASING coverage.

I am fully supportive of your cause and will e-mail RCI to restore the funding.

Keep up the good work!

from Kathleen Tenegal, Illinois, USA

A nous de défendre RCI, ses animatrices, animateurs...

Oui je défends la radio et particulièrement RCI. RCI c'est comme RFI, la voix du francophonisme, face à une "anglophonisation" qui réduit l'Afrique, l'Amérique du Sud à des cultures devenues presque agonisantes.

Où est ce monde libre tant espéré au XX ème siècle? Où sont nos véritables valeurs sociales, culturelles, émanant elles-mêmes d'un grand esprit de communication? je me le demande....

Ce vent violent qui souffle à travers le monde au sein d'un libéralisme démentiel et qui oublie même les règles élémentaires de la culture de la communication, de la nature même de nos valeurs fondamentales.

A nous de défendre RCI, ses animatrices, animateurs, la voix du Canada dans le monde doit demeurer....

Philippe Marsan, France

Mad as hell…!

I have been an active shortwave listener for over 20 years and I am shocked saddened and devastated by the short sighted ill advised decision by the Canadian (and some other like minded) governments to slash their international presence on shortwave radio….

When I tune to radio Canada, its because I want to hear about Canada,…

What I want to know is what's happening in Canada: the items that are making your local newspapers but will never make the Australian media. While there is a place for you to give some coverage of international events, I believe the emphasis should be on "life and culture" in Canada.

Which is why "I'm Mad as hell and I'm not gunna take it!" (to quote Network) Radio Canada was in my top5 stations to listen to because it did tell me about your country, but now, with the cuts there will be less time for these insights and it will become another station which repeats the same headlines as every other station..


Regards Jem Cullen Sydney Australia  
All of the letter

Je trouve cela scandaleux

Monsieur le Premier Ministre, Jean Chrétien,

En écoutant ce matin le service international de Radio Canada, je viens d'apprendre une réduction massive du temps d'antenne de RCI...

Je trouve cela scandaleux. Radio Canada International est une excellente source d'informations pour toutes les Canadiennes, tous les Canadiens et amis du Canada résidant à l'étranger....

Je vous demande de tout mettre en oeuvre de manière à maintenir ce service irremplaçable et inégalé offert aux gens de notre village planétaire.

André Mazouer, Suisse 
Toute la lettre

Tiny band of dedicated people..idiotic budget situation

Dear Ms Copps,

I am writing to express my concern and alarm at the news of further
marginalisation of Radio Canada International.

Even as a citizen of the UK, where the "private good, public bad" philosophy has tended to dominate the political scene for years, I find it astonishing that the Canadian federal government can fail to adequately fund a public service that is so very cost effective in promoting Canadian interests.

The sums of money involved here are trivial for a nation as large and wealthy as Canada. What difference would it make to the federal budget next fiscal year if RCI were given the means to continue its current level of operations? Would it even show up outside the margin of accounting errors?

...This tiny band of dedicated people is doing more for Canada's image than a whole army of diplomats. The present idiotic budget situation is undermining them for no good reason.

from Charles Williams, Essex, United Kingdom
All of the letter

Nous vous soutenons

Nous vous soutenons. C'est la moindre des choses.

Nous préparons une série de petites émissions consacrées à R.C.I. que nous diffuserons sur l'internet sur Radio U.E.F.

Daniel Wantz, Président de l'Union des Ecouteurs Français.

Elimination of weekend news is ridiculous.
News does not stop on the weekend.

The Honourable Sheila Copps:

I am concerned about the cutbacks in Radio Canada International (RCI). The proposed elimination of weekend news is ridiculous. News does not stop on the weekend.

RCI is a dependable voice to the world. The demise of BBC World Service to North America makes RCI role even more important.

RCI needs to continue on shortwave. The use of the internet will not replace the radio in the near future. I do listen to CBC on the internet but I the computer is not portable.

I urge you to support continued RCI funding and increase service to the world.
Darrell Neft, California

Cutting RCI sends the wrong message to those to whom free trade also means understanding Canadian culture.

Dear Minister Copps,

I have, with great distress, read the reports of more cuts at Radio Canada International. RCI has been one of the great international broadcasters for many years.

I even recall a statement by you, that RCI funding would be secure and stable. So why the reversal of position?

Many of us who do business in both the USA and Canada depend on RCI to keep us informed of Canadian news and culture when we aren't in Canada. It is a great ambassador for the Canadian people.

The proposal to end weekend news coverage and further eliminate RCI produced programming couldn't be more misguided. I recognize that funding is finite. I also  recognize that one can never do everything one would like to -- I am a businessman and never have all of the resources I would like.

However, if RCI funding is to be stable then given the low inflation rate in both of our countries, it should be possible to avoid drastic reductions such as those currently proposed. Before you eliminate weekend news and even more programming please consider other alternatives.

Cutting RCI sends the wrong message to those to whom free trade also means understanding Canadian culture.


Rob de Santos, West Virginia USA

Je suis tout à fait comme avant CONTRE l'abandon des fréquences et programmes de RCI vers le monde.

Suppression d'émissions, NON! C'est la dernière fois je vous assure que je vous écrit pour vous dire encore une fois que je vous écoute sans arrêt (en français et espagnol surtout, en anglais de temps à autre) depuis 1976, et que je suis tout à fait comme avant CONTRE l'abandon des fréquences et programmes de RCI vers le monde...

Pas tout le monde a accès à l'Internet, pas encore, et en plus, je préfère vous écouter sur un poste de radio d'O.C. que sur le Web. Et je ne suis pas seul sur de cette opinion!

José (Jason) García, Californie  Toute la lettre

It's a pity RCI hasn't been given a chance to expand in the same way

I'm a former RCI news writer, currently working for Radio Netherlands. Ten years ago I left RCI after a round of cuts when career prospects looked turbulent. Back then we were told the future of international broadcasting was dubious at best.

Since joining Radio Netherlands, this international service has gone from strength to strength, capitalizing on internet potential and co-production opportunities.

It's obvious there's a keen interest in the services international broadcasters can provide. It's a pity RCI hasn't been given a chance to expand in the same way.

from Michele Ernsting, Documentary maker, Radio Netherlands

Please note: All communication with the Committee is confidential. All comments reprinted on this site have been authorized by the senders before being posted.

Veuillez noter que toutes communications avec le Comité d'action de RCI demeurent confidentielles. Les commentaires exprimés sur ce site sont reproduits avec l'autorisation de leurs auteurs.
Defending Radio Canada International - Canada's Voice to the World
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"What the hell is going on at RCI? Where did all this come from?
What can I/we do to help?”
- from John A. Figliozzi Editor,
“The Worldwide Shortwave Listening Guide” & “The WWW Shortwave Listening Guide”
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