Ministers of Heritage, Public Safety and the CBC: Stop dismantling Canada's only int'l broadcasting site, RCI Sackville
  • Petitioned Senator Hugh D. Segal

This petition was delivered to:

Senate of Canada
Senator Hugh D. Segal
L'ombudsman de Radio-Canada
Pierre Tourangeau
Heritage Minister
Hon. James Moore
Minister of Public Safety
Hon. Vic Toews
CBC Ombudsman
Kirk LaPointe

Ministers of Heritage, Public Safety and the CBC: Stop dismantling Canada's only int'l broadcasting site, RCI Sackville

    1. Thomas Witherspoon
    2. Petition by

      Thomas Witherspoon

      Swannanoa, NC

Without RCI Sackville, there will be:

1) No reliable CBC programming in English, French, or First Nation languages to the far northern reaches of Quebec and Canada. Shutting down the North Quebec Service on shortwave will permanently sever multilingual, news, weather and other important information and announcements to many Canadian citizens--many of First Nations--living or traveling in the north. Other transmission methods just will not have the same reach: a handful of FM relay stations, which are the replacement method being implemented, only cover a footprint approximately the size of a small city, and leave those living or traveling outside this area in the informational dark.

2) Compromise to Canada’s domestic security. The RCI Sackville site is the only transmission site in Canada that can single-handedly broadcast to your entire country, should other communications systems--such as internet/satellite--fail. Unquestionably, this is the only facility in Canada that can do this.

3) No international voice. This is the only broadcasting site that sits firmly on Canadian soil, and that can be used to send Canada’s message across the globe as well as within the country and to overseas territories--without the restrictions and firewalls to which the internet is regularly subjected by authoritarian regimes. Moreover, in areas such as rural Africa where there is no electric mains power, radio is the only source of vital information.

4) Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Technicians working at the site says it takes just one hour to take down one of their 28 antennas, but fully two months to put one of them back up. Clearly, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will never be able to put this infrastructure back together again...without a lot of time, expertise, and undue expense.

But realistically, can RCI Sackville be saved? Is there a way to retain this critical Canadian resource despite a weak economy?  

The answer is, of course: Simply scale down the number of transmitters on the air, the number of crew manning the facility.  If necessary, do as many other transmitter facilities are currently doing: sell air time to private broadcasters, a potential profit-making venture.

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Liviu Iliescu GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
      • 9 months ago

      I am a shortwave radio enthusiast and am always in a search to listen radio stations from long distances to Switzerland.

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    • James Shelden BELGRADE,, MT
      • over 1 year ago

      The CBC is one of the very best public broadcasters on the planet. Canada brings thoughtful, and educated news, commentary, and programing that has no peer. The other comments here are worthy of serious consideration. The next big solar flare (for example), will shut down hundreds of satellites, and the internet can also become disabled. A self-contained facility such as Sackville will remain functional and provide a vital service to Canadians, and indeed, the world. To Rebuild a facility such as you have here maybe prohibitively expensive. Dear Honorable Ministers, please reconsider!

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    • Nita Pomeroy SAN ANTONIO, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      History, doctrine, greatness, value, uniqueness, past glory, importance, experiences. It's airwaves gave HOPE and INFORMATION hundreds of thousands of people.

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    • Mike Iszak IONA STATION, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      RCI is an invaluable resource that we CANNOT loose. People abroad and domestic rely on its broadcasts to keep in touch with the world's events as well as a connecting with Canada. It would be a national shame to eliminate this service.

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    • James Mills SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      RCI was Canada's ambassador to the world. RCI's broadcasts were always encouraging and uplifting in a world where there a lack of tolerance and understanding. RCI was Canada's gift to the world. Please bring back RCI. Thank you.

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