Cabinet cuts shortwave radio protection, sparking concern from doomed service - InfoNews

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Cabinet cuts shortwave radio protection, sparking concern from doomed service

June 15, 2012 - 5:07 PM

OTTAWA - The Conservative cabinet has quietly changed a rule that could have prevented the CBC from following through on its plan to cut its international shortwave radio service.

Supporters of Radio Canada International, which faces a near fatal 80-per-cent budget cut from the CBC, say that amounts to the government essentially ending all uncensored Canadian broadcasts to places like China and Russia.

Heritage Minister James Moore recommended an order in council, approved on June 7, that deleted a requirement for RCI to maintain a shortwave service.

That change removed an obstacle to the steep cuts the CBC had announced for RCI in April — $10 million of $12.3 million budget will disappear along with at least three-quarters of its work force.

RCI had planned to file an injunction this past week to prevent CBC from shutting down its shortwave broadcasting facilities, but the new order thwarted their lawyers.

The CBC defended the cuts to RCI as a necessary measure in light of the last federal budget, which reduced the broadcaster's subsidy by 10 per cent over the next three years, to about $115 million.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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