Tag Archives: RCI Cuts

Senator Segal’s motion receives unanimous vote: special committee enquiry into RCI cuts

An excellent development in Canada: Senator Hugh Segal’s motion for a special committee enquiry into the CBC decision to slash the Radio Canada International budget by 80 per cent has received a unanimous vote in the Senate. Committee hearings will begin as early as February.

Below is the full press release I received from Senator Segal:

(Source: Office of Senator Segal)

Senator Hugh Segal has issued this statement on the unanimous vote in the Senate to have a special committee enquiry into the CBC decision to slash the RCI budget by 80 per cent.

“I am delighted that, in a non partisan way, the Senate voted to have the RCI matter go to a full review of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.   My motion was amended by Senator Champagne to go to a full committee hearing rather than a one day appearance before bar of the Senate.

That a ten percent cut to the CBC budget produced an 80 percent slash and burn of  Radio Canada International reflects an internal CBC management decision which needs to be better understood.  CBC management may well believe that if they let people go and dismantle transmitters, the problem will go away.

The importance of Canada’s voice to the rest of the world is not a detail of no consequence. The chance to call witnesses, pursue how other enlightened countries have expanded their short wave capacity, among other facts, will be a constructive step ahead in strengthening Canada’s international voice.”

Committee hearings on this matter may start as early as February2013.

 

CRTC extends broadcast license for Sackville’s North Quebec Service until Dec 1

View of the western cluster of curtain antennas from the roof of RCI Sackville’s transmissions building. (Photo: The SWLing Post) –Click to enlarge

According to this article (see clipping below) the CRTC “mistakenly” listed the end date of RCI Sackville’s (call sign CKCX-SW) shortwave service to North Quebec as November 1, 2012. The CRTC has now amended the decision with an end date of December 1st, 2012.

Thanks to Kim Elliott for bringing this to my attention.

(Source: All Access Music Group)

[T]he official revocation of the license of the CBC’s shortwave CKCX-SW/SACKVILLE, NB has been amended to DECEMBER 1st.  In an initial ruling on the requested revocation, the CRTC mistakenly listed the end date as NOVEMBER 1st.  The station is being shut down because of the grant of low-power repeaters for CBC RADIO ONE station CFFB/IQUALUIT, NUNAVUT at PURVIRNITUQ, KUUJJUARAPIK, INUKJUAK, SALLUIT, and KUUJJUAQ, NUNAVIT, all on 103.5 FM with 50 watts each.

Have you singed our petition to save Sackville from being dismantled? Now would be the perfect time:

Media Network Plus interviews RCI shortwave supporter, Senator Hugh Segal

Senator Hugh Segal

PCJ’s Media Network Plus interviewed Senator Hugh Segal last week.  As we mentioned previously, Senator Segal made a motion that the CBC be made accountable for the unfair proportion of cuts imposed on Radio Canada International earlier this year.

I found Segal’s thoughts regarding the future of Radio Canada International articulate and accurate. If you’ve been following the RCI Sackville story, you will appreciate this interview as well.

You can listen to the interview on PCJ Media’s website, or by downloading the mp3 by clicking here.

Again, if you haven’t signed our petition to save Radio Canada International’s Sackville transmission site, please consider adding your voice and sharing this with your friends! Click here to sign the petition!

Sackville still broadcasting CBC North Quebec Service on 9,625 kHz…for now

The remaining curtain antenna faithfully broadcasting the CBC North Quebec relay

I just received confirmation that the Sackville, NB transmission site of Radio Canada International will continue broadcasting the CBC North Quebec service on 9,625 kHz until all of the FM relays in North Quebec have been tested and placed into service.

To be clear, contrary to the implication of the recent CRTC ruling, the Sackville site may continue broadcasting for a few more days or weeks, depending on progress with the FM relays’ implementation.

The remaining staff at Sackville have converted the site to run two transmitters and two antennas (for redundancy) for the North Quebec Service on 9,625 kHz via remote operation. Nothing else is being broadcast our of the Sackville site.

Have you singed our petition to save Sackville from being dismantled? Now would be the perfect time:

 

CRTC revokes Sackville’s CBC North license

A few of RCI Sackville’s curtain antennas

Occasionally, I have the opportunity to report good news on the SWLing Post. Unfortunately, this news is of a very disappointing turn:  According to the CBC’s plan, Sackville’s shortwave broadcasting license for the CBC North Quebec service has been revoked by the CRTC. This was announced today on the CRTC website; it is an eventuality in the wake of the 80% cut Radio Canada International received in April of this year.

What’s most sad about this revocation is that communities in North Quebec and Northern Canada who rely on this service, many representing First Nations (American Indians), probably do not even realize that they’re about to lose that service–the only service capable of bringing news to their vast Northern region.  The “replacement” for the service will be low-powered FM, which will just not have the same reach as shortwave.

If the three provinces that make up north Canada were a country, it would be the 7th largest country in the world by land mass. Five low power FM transmitters cannot cover this region. (Map: WikiMedia Commons)

A closer look

How vast is this territory? After all, we’re talking about an area where most of us have never traveled. Well, the North Quebec administrative region, alone, is 747,161 sq km (288,480 sq miles)–that’s about the size of Afghanistan, or 200,000 sq km larger than France.

The three provinces which make up northern Canada have a combined area of 3,921,739 km2 (1,514,192 sq mi)–an area larger than India. If northern Canada were a country, it would be the 7th largest in the world.

The Sackville shortwave service covers the entire North Quebec region with ease, and probably most of Northern Canada.

FM can’t replace this service

The CRTC decision states:

The CBC also requested the revocation of its broadcasting license for the shortwave radio undertaking CKCX-SW Sackville, New Brunswick. It indicated that the new transmitters will ensure that the population of the aforementioned locations [Puvirnituq, Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Salluit, and Kuujjuaq] continues to be served by the news and regional information programming of its Radio One service when CKCX-SW Sackville ceases operation.

Five low-power FM stations, one for each of these communities will, at best, cover a total land area of 500 square miles combined.  That equates to a land area about the size of New York City. Note that this is a very generous figure and assumes ideal FM transmission conditions.  Clearly, vast areas of the enormous region–where people live, travel, or hunt–will not be covered; in these areas, radios which once received programming from Sackville will receive only static.

Our petition lives on

Last week, I spearheaded a petition to Canada’s Heritage and Public Safety Ministers and the CBC management asking them to stop dismantling the RCI Sackville site –at least, we asked, please keep this site in a state that could support Canada’s domestic security and the North Quebec Service. While I’m fully aware that this petition is unlikely to alter the course of this previously-made decision (made before anyone could voice disagreement), the petition could still make a positive difference.

There is still time to save Sackville from being dismantled. This petition makes it clear that there is a large community of people who are aware of this arbitrary cut. Only last week, Senator Hugh Segal made a motion on the senate floor that the CBC be made accountable for their unfair 80% cut to RCI (while the whole of the CBC was only cut 10%).

This petition also validates the efforts of those who work at the Sackville site, with whom I’ve been in contact.  They are humbled and appreciative of the extraordinary outpouring of support, in the form of nearly 500 signatures from individuals all over the world. Among the countries represented:  the United States, Mexico, India, Taiwan, and various countries in both Europe and Africa.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign the petition and share it with your friends.