An uprising backed by former prime minister Joe Clark and actor Donald Sutherland is trying to force the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to hit pause on its plans to dismantle Radio Canada International (RCI).
If successful, the move to save CBC’s once-vaunted service that took Canada to the world will throw a wrench into the CBC’s transition from a public broadcaster into a disruptive, taxpayer-funded commercial operator.
The Radio Canada International Action Committee recently released a multi-signature letter. Mine is among the 32 signatures, including Clark, Sutherland, former federal Foreign Affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, author Naomi Klein and former Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) broadcasting vice-chair Michel Arpin. The letter urges the government to put CBC’s plans on hold and give RCI employees a few weeks to come up with an alternative restructuring plan.