Defending Radio Canada International - Canada's Voice to the World
Stop the cuts, protect RCI's Mandate

Montreal, 1 June – Employees at Radio Canada International have released letters sent to Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps and CBC President Robert Rabinovitch in a renewed effort to stop cuts at the international radio service.

In a statement released on Friday, the RCI Action Committee, condemned the determination of CBC and RCI management to go ahead with the elimination of RCI newscasts this weekend (June 2 and 3), and a series of other program cuts which the Committee says will weaken Canada’s voice to the world.

“These cuts cannot be accepted,” said Committee spokesman Wojtek Gwiazda, “They are unjustified on a budgetary and on a programming basis.”

The Committee is also calling for a guarantee that the CBC, which administers RCI, will respect an accord it signed in March with the Heritage department to maintain the service at its present level.

“Two months after telling the Heritage Ministry that RCI would continue as is, they’re making massive cuts at the service, and compromising the mandate of RCI, “ said Gwiazda.

The Action Committee is also planning to raise the issue with The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to clarify RCI’s position vis-à-vis CBC and the government within the federal Broadcast Act.

“Until we get a clear idea of who’s supposed to be doing what, the status quo should remain,” says Gwiazda.

The RCI Action Committee has a website with the letters to Sheila Copps and Robert Rabinovitch. And is already getting reaction from listeners around the world. It also includes links to numerous articles published recently, including one on the Radio Netherlands website entitled  “Savage Cuts at RCI”.

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