06.26.2012 08:21 AM

RCI: Another small way in which the Harper Cons are chipping away at Canada

Radio Canada International’s shortwave service was, quite literally, Canada’s voice to the world for nearly seventy years – through wars, through triumphs and disasters, through it all. It has literally been part of our history. When I was an election observer in Bosnia in 1996, billeted with a Serbian family, I was glued to my tiny shortwave radio at nights. I’d listen to the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the news from back home, and I was pretty grateful that RCI existed.

You may not know it, because so many of you are in Canada or Internet-dependent, but RCI went off the shortwave airwaves this week. Last night, my sons and I actually pulled over to the side of the road to listen to RCI’s Marc Montgomery say goodbye.  Even for my youngest son, it was emotional.

Why should you care? Does it matter? It matters. Billion-dollar fighter jets and super jails, before a pittance for a radio station that subtly promoted democracy, and decency, around the world. In small but undeniable ways, the Conservatives are chipping away at the notion of what Canada was, and what it is. It is thoughtless, it is ideological, it is done without any appreciation of our history or our shared culture: the Harper regime are denuding us of the things that make us uniquely Canadian. To ourselves, and to the world.

I urge you to watch this man saying goodbye to RCI. By the very end of it, I suspect some of you will be left feeling as I did – namely, hating the guts of some of the bastards in this “government,” and determined to do something about it.


  1. Duane says:

    Canada Day is not that far away and it draws nearer, I somehow feel a little less patriotic than I did a few years ago. It took decades for Canada to build the image and reputation that we have around the world but it has only taken the CPC a few years to tarnish that image. The cuts and program changes to all departments have made us less Canadians than we once were. I am still a proud Canadian but I can no longer carry my head as high as I once did due the Harper Government trying to make us the 51st state. At one time the differences between Canada and the U.S were quite large but now the difference are not so great. Let’s hope that the Cons are a one majority wonder and that we can repair the damage that they have inflicted on Canadas image.

    • Islay Lamb says:

      Take heart. Harper won’t be here forever. Canada needs us more than ever on July 1. Let’s get out our flags and support our crippled country. Join a rally, write some letters, pray,whatever you think will lend our beautiful country a helping hand as she endures this attack.

  2. Katie says:

    Everything Duane says…. except I would have added some curse words to rain down on the head of Mr. Harper…

  3. Everett Coldwell says:

    A sad day for Canada.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    This last broadcast will go down in radio history. What a loss!

  5. Rob says:

    1967 was the greatest year of my life. Perhpas 2017 will ecclipse it. The idea that the country is being ruined by the current government is BS. Canada is much less isolated in today’s globalized world. We have great resource advantages making our lives relatively easy compared to citizens of other countries.

    Shortwave?? Heck – everybody everywhere has Internet. Almost nobody has a shortwave set. You know, sometimes, some government programs cease to be needed.

    It is 2012.

    • Tired of it All says:

      Brosef, you have Conned yourself into gloriously missing the point. It’s not a choice between the internet and short-wave, it’s about mindlessly cutting something which has a value intrinsic to itself and hard to calculate in simple dollar terms. It’s also about lopping off a clear identifier – something that distinguished us from the rest of the world (like As it Happens getting picked up by NPR in the States). I’m not sure if you’ve traveled much, but that stuff matters.

      Put differently, the United States has beefed up Voice of America in recent years. Canada has always been the book-end to the choice in Western-style democracies as necessarily separate from the American model. Now, only the American form is present on the radio waves of the world. And that’s the point.

      • Rob says:

        Nostalgia, or what others are doing don’t serve as a suitable reason for doing something. Just becuase you can do something or have done something in the past, also isn’t sufficient to justify doing it in the future.

        • Marc-André Chiasson says:

          It may be perceived as redundant nostalgia by Rob and his ilk but as an Atlantic Canadian,I can assure you that RCI on the Tantramar marshes between Sackville NB and Amherst NS was something we have been proud of for many years and whose large array of lighted antennas have always served as a welcoming beacon for weary travellers travelling home in either direction late at night. Now that is gone…to say nothing of the positive image of Canada that RCI was sharing with the world. And also, in the same vein,please don’t get me started on the idiocy behind Harper’s vindictive decision to dismantle Katimavik, another program that was extremely popular with our youth and supportive of volunteerism in smaller communities in my neck of the woods.

        • kenn2 says:

          So… tell us. How has Canada’s image and engagement with the world improved under Harper’s tenure?

  6. Chris says:

    I remember being in London England in the early 1990s trying to get Canadian news by shortwave. No matter what radio I bought I could never reach it. So I don’t have great memories of it. With the internet, shortwave is irrelevant. I disagree with the Tories about a lot but cutting international shortwave seems like a good decision. Government services evolve with technology. If international shortwave is so important, let’s see who is willing to actually pay for it out of their own pocket. A charity could be started. I suspect no one would bother to do so.

    • smelter rat says:

      We were already paying for it out of our own pockets, but I’m sure the $0.25 RCI was costing you per year will be put to good use somewhere else.

      • Merrill Smith says:

        I think it was actually more like $0.35. And I’d be willing to pay Chris’s share even though I’ve never actually heard RCI.

  7. Linda Gunningham says:

    More than 40 years ago my husband and I were CUSO workers in San Andres, Colombia. RCI was our lifeline, our only connection to home. It was invaluable then and I know there are people who would still depend on it. Even now, not everyone is web-connHdected.

  8. Ted H says:

    Since the Harper government came to power, I am not as proud to be a Canadian as I once was. I am reluctant to put out a flag on Canada Day, I don’t care to attend any Canada Day “official fun” and I don’t even care if I sing the anthem, it sound totally hypocritical to do so anyway. Someday this period of darkness will end but until then this is the worst government Canada has ever had. Even the corrupt Mulroney government was more essentially Canadian despite its flaws that this current bunch of mendacious creeps.

  9. Scott Harradine says:

    I do hate the guts of these bastards in the Harper regime and am trying to do something about it but we need a focal point, someone to rally around, more than a ‘park to occupy’ or a tuition fee increase to cause us to hit the streets. The left MUST work together! The best policies and programs these country has come up with happend when they did. They have to stop putting thier own interests first and do what we want them to do, put Canada’s interests first and foremost!!!

  10. Tiger says:

    Age of the internet — listen to webstreams and download podcasts!

    Most countries have cheap 3G — take your iPhone (unlocked), buy a local sim-card, and stream your local CBC affiliate through the CBC Radio app.

  11. Otis O says:

    Much less important today as in the years past but a fragment of this capacity should always remain in place and the frequencies never be used for other projects as our need to communicate with other members of this planet may well depend on the trusted radio signal. I too am appalled at the dismantling of services and programs by this government although RCI may be an exception, hardly noticed by the government for its’ antiquity but more for its’ liberal views.

  12. Philippe says:

    That’s very well said Warren.

    An example is the kind of language they used last week to kick the Europeans while they’re down (basically calling them welfare states). I agree with not giving them more bailout money, but the Cons had to take it a step further with their disrespectful chest thumping, insult-hurling barrages. They can’t help themselves, it’s who they are.

    How is is that we’ve elected such a sick government? I’m ashamed of them and my own countrymen for putting them in power.

  13. Greg from Calgary says:

    I attend Canada Day and am proud. My pride in Canada is independent of whatever political party is in power.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      The last refuge of a scoundrel.

      We should be proud of our country because of what it is, what is stands for, how it treats its citizens, how it sets an example for others.

      Canada is not a great place anymore, where human rights are not a priority, democracy is an optional concept, and where division, regionalism and de jure justice, not real justice, is the mantra amoung its people.

      I’d be proud if Canadians of all political stripes stood up and said what is happening is unacceptable. Start with the Cabinet Ministers who allow this stuff to happen. Then the CPC caucus who vote for and support a government which makes this stuff happen. Then to the electorate who care more about a national energy policy long dead 35 yrs ago and a few stollen dollars in Quebec than respecting democratic institutions, verfication and processes to ensure that NO MATTER WHAT POLITICAL PARTY IS IN POWER, we have democracy to fall back on to set paramaters to normal.

      • Greg from Calgary says:

        Please explain what “The last refuge of a scoundrel” is.

        • Tim Sullivan says:


          Grow a pair and look around. Pay attention to whatever political party is in power and see what it is doing, or not doing, to and for your country. If you like, great. If you don’t, fine. But you can’t just like the country without some stake in how it is being governed.

          • Greg from Calgary says:

            I do look thanks. However, my pride in Canada isn’t limited to politics, so please keep your advice on the “pair.”

  14. Ottawa civil servant says:

    Complete loss of perspective, people: Warren saying he hates their guts, others claiming they are no longer proud of Canada, calling the government sick and ashamed of fellow countrymen for voting them in. This will keep the Liberals out of power. Canadians vote to represent an opinion, but by refusing that they have any validity, you guarantee that you will not connect with those voters. Accept that a Toronto suburb has as much validity as a Montreal suburb, and you will start to see that the Canadian mosaic can be reflected in a Liberal Party.

    As for short wave, the CBC mandarins offered it up as a sacrificial lamb knowing full well that it would cause more anti-government fury than trimming their $1.5 billion administrative budget.

    BTW, my heart sank at the idea of the idiots at CBC cancelling DISPATCHES and keeping George Stomboulopolis (?).

    • Ted H says:

      Ottawa, I agree with you with regard to DISPATCHES, a wonderful program, right down to using Mark Knopfler’s “What It Is” for the theme music. However, the sad reality is that the government IS sick and I am not so much ashamed as bewildered with my fellow countrymen who voted them in. This has nothing to do with the Liberal party, it is my own opinion and I am not alone.

      The government has no validity, it does not govern for all Canadians, it has no vision for Canada’s future that is going to be for the betterment of all the people, and for those of us who are proud of Canada’s past, it is obvious that the government does not share that pride. Not one word that comes out of the mouth of the Prime Minister, his cabinet or his MP’s this Canada Day is going to be anything other than rank hypocrisy when measured against the direction they are taking this country.

  15. Richard says:

    This says everything we need to know about Stephen Harper. “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it.”

    He said it himself. There is no hidden agenda. He laid it out for us, plain as day.

    The wonderful, incredible, amazing country that we all love is undergoing a radical transformation , and not one for the better.

  16. Michael Bussiere says:

    Meanwhile, Harper is funding a culture palace in Calgary which is entirely redundant in its mandate, is sucking funds from elsewhere in the cultural sector, is designed by an American firm, and has so far been well below the Con $ radar.


      • Michael Bussiere says:

        Here are the redundancies with reference to this so-called National Music Centre’s mandate:

        The feds built the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in the 1960s. Musical programming constitutes its largest department. The National Library and Archives holds the country’s largest collection of musical artifacts and displays them regularly, and distributes them for display across the country. So does the ROM, UBC etc. The Canadian Music Centre holds the largest collection of musical scores by Canadian composers, provides a wide variety of services, and has a branch in Calgary. The Banff Centre supports a long-standing artist-in-residence program, including recording studios, for musicians and composers of all musical genres.

        The NMC proposal includes recording studios and 2 small performance venues, all of which will compete with local commercial operations using tax dollars. There is an identical project under development in Toronto called Metronome, which is beginning with corporate and private sponsors before it pursues govt support. Finally, to my knowledge, there is no such thing as a national music museum anywhere in the world, including Vienna where they could display Joseph Haydn’s pantaloons!

        This project seems to be a hell of a lot of money for a music museum building that will do little to support the music industry. Halls of Fame have a way of going empty very quickly. The Seattle Music Experience began as a music museum/interactive musical experience and is now EMP music + sci fi + pop culture.

        It’s received bad press in the music industry papers, but for some reason nobody in the Sun-TV family seems to be squawking about it.

        • kenn2 says:

          The CPC routinely chips away at the CBC… but there’s around $74 million of federal, provincial and municipal money going into this apparently risky venture. Folks the CBC is already the best and most prolific recorder of Canadian talent, especially live.

          I predict that this will follow the Toronto Skydome model: massive delays (already happening) the private sector will balk and whinge and come up short, the government will have to come up with the rest of the funding and back other financing, the structure will be be completed but late and over-budget, it will underperform financially, and finally a private investor will purchase it for pennies on the dollar.

  17. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Is there anything left in Canada that “Dear Leader” and his cronies hold sacred?…..oh, yeah, the oil patch, and filling their own pockets…….

    Rue the day I had anything to do with the bastids……

  18. Kelly says:

    The late James Travers said it best, “The Harper Conservatives are vandalizing Canada.”

    That being said, when a store, or monument or church gets vandalized, people pick things up and fix them. Harper will be defeated and everything he’s wrecked can be repaired. So just be patient. Every conservative government gets thrown out because their policies produce terrible results — every single time. Our investments are worth less, we have more debt, we get less and less for our taxes, we have a government suspicious of citizens, our water will become more poisonous, our meat cases will contain road kill (did you know Harper will now allow meat processing ants to accept already dead stock? It’s in the budget.) On it goes. It can only continue so long before almost everyone is damaged by the policies. Then they will be fixed. I just hope the next government digs up the dirt and lays charges where appropriate. That will be fun to watch.

  19. Proud_Canadian1 says:

    Government cut, not nearly enough! CBC budget is $1.1 billion, we should have cut 100% of it,cbc should have been privatized!

  20. Cynical says:

    Ian Robb says it all:

    (free mp3 for a while, at least)

  21. JamesHalifax says:

    Oh please…what a maudlin display of feigned outrage and sadness.

    If the Liberals had done this, we wouldn’t be reading self-aggrandizing comments about how proud a Canadian you are….or were until the guys you didn’t vote for happen to win. If your identity as a Canadian is tied to the Party you support…then you shouldn’t identify as a Canadian in the first place. I was a Canadian when the Liberals were in power…the PC’s, and now the Conservatives. The Government doesn’t bestow “Canadian-ness” on you, it’s something you feel in your heart. If your heart breaks because you can’t listen to an -un-listened to by most people broadcast….then you need some help.

    If you sole reason for missing RCI is because you have no other means of getting Canadian content..then yeah, you may have a point, however, if you are one of these folks who think that we should keep everything once it’s become the “norm”…then you may want to consider other parts of Canadian history we’ve ridded ourselves of. Just because we once had something….doesn’t mean you are always entitled to it.

    I’m sure if Harper decided to anything, whether justified or not, we’d have the same group of whiners complaing not that something was done…but that Harper did it.

    I bet you could count the number of people who actually listened to RCI in one room.

    • smelter rat says:

      You’re an idiot. People all over the world listened to it.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Well, the people all over the world to which you refer may well have listened to it. However, the point is that only the people in Canada were paying for it.

        I doubt you could find 1 and 10 people on the streets of your average Canadian city who even knew it existed.

        I guess those people all over the world…will have to get with the program and access the internet.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          JamesHalifax, you sure know a lot of stuff. Tell us where you got that stat from, so we can all be smart like you?

          Or did you pull that stat out of some bull’s ass where you keep all your other opinions, covered in ….

        • smelter rat says:

          In much the same way the Americans pay for VOA, so that people in the parts of the world where there is significant government censorship can hear other points of view. On the other hand, there isn’t much to be proud of as Canadians these days, so maybe you’re right after all.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Other points of view don’t matter very much smelter rat….if no one is paying attention.

            RCI is just a waste of $ considering how many people actually listen to it.

          • smelter rat says:

            Your insistence that no one is listening to it is bullshit.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      The Liberals didn’t do it, and they still balanced the budget and got the federal government into surplus. It was the CPC that did this, not the Liberals.

      Some Liberals love parts of Canada and mourn its loss. Don’t go saying Liberals are feigning anything. As a conservative, you hate everythink and want to destroy it, for some unrealized past glory.

      JamesHalifax, is there anything you don’t just sputter but actually know?


      • Paul Synnott says:

        Please. The Liberals achieved a balanced budget by enacting a massive unilateral cut to Federal Social and Health Transfers to the Provinces. The hospital closures, doctor shortages and wait times we’ve endured over the last 15 years are directly related to those massive cuts. Did I mention, unilateral, as in absolutely no consultation with the Provinces? Given the choice between access to adequate and timely healthcare and funding RCI, I’ll take healthcare. The Conservative government is going to balance the budget and continue healthcare INCREASES over the next 10 years. Spare us the soft soap on what a benign and benevolent job the Liberals did to balance the budget. They slashed and burned like no other government in history and we’re still paying the price today.

        • Kelly says:

          I doubt the conservatives will balance the budget. Growth is stalling, commodity prices are crashing, and tax cuts never produce enough growth to even pay for themselves, let along increase revenues like the supply side cranks claim. At the end of the day conservative tax cutting policies lead to the following: a country that spends less on health, education, R&D, infrastructure and environmental integrity and more on TVs, 3 car garages, porn and Adam Sandler movies. You decide which produces better long-term outcomes.

        • Cameron Prymak says:

          Yes, you must be referring to the successive Liberal majority governments that inherited that whack of debt from the Mulroney years.

          Round and round we go – your turn.

        • que sera sera says:

          @ Paul Synnott: “Given the choice between access to adequate and timely healthcare and funding RCI, I’ll take healthcare.”

          Given the choice between funding RCI and Harper’s re-enactment party for the War of 1812, I’ll take funding RCI.

          Given the choice between funding RCI and buying Tony Clement’s re-election with $50 million of pork, I’ll take funding RCI.

          Given the choice between funding RCI or giving $500 million public subsidy to SUN-TV and Quebecor Media, I’ll take funding RCI.

          Given the choice between funding RCI, or giving +$14 million to Harper’s various Christian fundamentalist organizations, I’ll take funding RCI.

          Shall we contain this bullshit now or shall we just keep spewing the Conservative mantra of false dichotomies?

        • Ted B says:

          Yup. They cut transfers. They also cut real spending (something Harper hasn’t done). They also did a complete overhaul on delivery of services to make delivery more efficient. They also expanded free trade.

          In other words, to balance the budget and create a surplus, they worked hard, made hard choices, and made a lot of changes.

          Harper? He created a deficit and then his only solution is to cut, cut, cut. And then revise the date he promised we would balance the budget. Then revise it again. Then revise it again. Then revise it again.

          There is zero chance of the budget being balanced before the next election. If he Flaherty claim it is balanced, it will be a fraud like it was in Ontario, a shell game.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            It’s true the Liberals did what needed to be done…and it wasn’t easy. I voted for them for the first two Chretien majorities, but gave up on them after that.

            The fact remains however, those Liberals who defend the actions required to reduce the deficit, will be the first ones piling on Harper and the Conservatives for trying to do the same (less severe thing).

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            JamesHalifax, you sure know a lot of stuff. You now know it will first be Liberals who will “pile” on Haprer for reducing the deficit he created if he reduces it.

        • Philip says:

          Hey Paul, when is Tony Clement going to return that $50,000,000 he took from us? I guess that was a better choice than healthcare because it got one of your buddies re-elected. Conservatives don’t care about saving the taxpayer’s money when it comes time to save one of their own. That’s when taxpayer money tap is turned wide open.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Of course the CPC did this. They’re the only group of folks who seem to have any common sense about paying for things that are needed, and getting rid of things that are not.

        You say some Liberals love PARTS of Canada……and we know what parts they are. They’re the parts that vote Liberal.

        As for my hating anything…sorry…I don’t feel that strongly about RCI…I just don’t think it’s necessary in today’s world. As for Conservatives wanting to “destroy”….you clearly enjoy your hyperbole. What Conservatives want, is to NOT pay for things that are next to useless for the majority of people.

        And Tim…I know a lot of things….but I’m still not going to give you a citation you will ignore in any event.

        One citation I CAN give you….but you’ll again ignore is as follows:


        Are you still going to refute my facts?

    • kenn2 says:

      RCI’s significance was as a small window onto the world, and a pretty inexpensive one at that. Ex-pat Canadians tuned in, and the world could get a small glimpse of Canada from it.

      yes the audience for shortwave broadcast is shrinking, but it isn’t gone yet. More important than the transmitting capabilities, the RCI produced unique Canadian programming for the international listener, the sort of programming that is increasingly listened to via Internet.

      It’s not really about the money (though a government who blew over a billion on a G8/G20 circus has questionable priorities)… it’s the smug, gloating self-satisfied glee with which the Harper government is going about making many ideologically-motivated cuts and policy changes, that taken together mark a sharp turn away from the world and inward.

      Here’s the measure of the world’s perception of Canada: American tourists are no longer sewing Canadian flags on their backpacks.

  22. Michael S says:

    I once did a passage across the Atlantic on a small sailboat. During the NHL playoffs. It took some work but I got the audio feed of HNIC while doing watch on a becalmed boat in the middle of the Atlantic. Not possible now.

  23. Gloria says:

    Harper was Policy Chief, for his Northern Foundation party, from 1989. They said, the skinheads assisted to organize that party. Harper is linked to Nazi Intellectuals and Christian Fundamentalists.

    Harper gives billions of our tax dollars to, banks, mines, oil and gas corporations and huge businesses. They are also given large tax reductions. This was seen on, the House of Commons TV channel. Needless to say, Harper now does his dastardly deeds behind closed doors. Harper also started out with a, $13 billion dollar surplus.

    Harper and his Conservatives, help themselves to, an obscene amount of our tax dollars. There are no controls on their thieving what-so-ever. Harper’s security bill was $47 million. We expect that to double. They more Harper is despised the higher his security bills. Quite frankly, he isn’t worth it. Harper also did not need a $1 billion dollar, stupid fake lake. $50 million on gazebos, is a pretty high price, to buy a riding too.

    Then there is the robo-call cheat election fraud. Harper is desperate to quash the investigation. Harper is also trying to prevent, the challenges to disputed riding investigations. What does that tell us?

    We can expect a lot more garbage from Harper. He is the most corrupt, and worst P.M. in the recorded history of Canada.

    • Warren says:

      No he wasn’t. I wrote Web of Hate. He had no such role.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        That’s what I like about you Warren…..you can be a mean SOB…but at least you are fair when it comes to the important things.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Gloria, if you remove the tinfoil hat you are wearing, you’ll be able to pick up the last RCI broadcast……..your village is calling. They want you back.

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        JamesHalifax, why don’t you attack the argument rather than the person? Tin hats, the tired “village idiot” schtick, crap like that. Kinda juvenile. You’re ideological bull shit unsubstantiated opinions are lost in the meanness.

        Being mean does not make you right, and quite frankly, it takes away any value you might contribute.

        I say “might” because it can happen. I have faith in you, Gordo. C’mon, you can do it. Your the smartest guy here, so it will happen.

        I’m pretty sure it will, anyway. Don’t let me down.

        • Tim Sullivan says:


          Sorry, lost myself in a finance degree there for a second.

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Tim, it’s very difficult to attack an argument…that is NOT an argument.

          Gloria’s post is just a mishmash of tired old cliche’s and attacks one can see any day they have a protest about one thing or another.

          You cannot refute a hysterical, idiotic diatribe such as Gloria has presented. Ergo….I can attack whomever I wish to attack. If you don’t like it….don’t read it.

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            We’re used to intelligent discussion on this site. At least if you’re going to be all “got nuthin'” you could at least be funny, or interesting.

            Or, perhaps you can enumerate the differences between a summons and a subpoena, or between Sasha Trudea and Alexander. Learn us something, at least.

          • Tim Sullivan says:


            *Alexander Trudeau

  24. mrburnsns says:

    One of the big advantages of short wave (versus just downloading a podcast/streaming) is that it’s harder to jam (even if the signal is jammed you can use a directional antenna & jamming requires sizable infrastructure – in any case, not 100% effective). If you need to convey your message into an area with a hostile government (like in WWII) it’s a lot easier with a short wave setup. Intercepting and stopping an internet signal down a cable is a lot easier for hostile governments than stopping radio waves.

    • que sera sera says:

      This fascist government is eliminating, and assisting corporations in eliminating, the redundancies that have served Canadians & democracy so well for many decades and that have been bought & paid for a thousand times over. And cost zilch to maintain.

      Thus we are now solely dependent on digitized broadcast signals, cell phones & cell phone towers, and functional electrical grids – or quite frankly we are completely screwed.

      I suspect the fascists are making it easier for the Vic Toews contingent to rule the world……….all while intent on proving “resistance is futile”.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        que sera sera…..

        The fact you compare the Canadian Prime Minister to a fascist shows clearly how completely out to lunch you are on reality. Do you even know what a fascist is?

        It ain’t harper…..because if he was a Fascist…you would have been hearing boots at the door of your mother’s basement door by now.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          I fear JamesHalifax is correct. Fascists tend to come from a socialist background because of its familiarity or comfort with state-use of private property. Mussolini was a socialist before he was a fascist, for example.

          None of the right-wing leaders, from Franco and Pinochet to the left and Hitler to the right had deputy leaders, vice-presidents, seconds-in-command. Harper used to be a Liberal, which is not socialism. It is not. And his deputy prime minister is .. hold on … I’ll find it somewhere.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      If at any time in the near future our communications are being jammed………..the last thing we need to be worried about is funding for RCI.

      • mrburnsns says:

        Actually you would be worried – are you going to try and restart a long dormant (or reconstruct) a short wave setup during a time of crisis? Who’s going to have the knowledge to do that after the thing has been shut down for years? It’s cheap insurance to ensure Canada’s viewpoints can still get out to pretty much any point in the world no matter what calamity happens.

        Conservatives may not be fascists but they certainly don’t understand technology and make decisions with a time horizon of two weeks.

  25. Julie says:

    Harper hates everything Canadian, including the people.

    Harper hates Canadian Democracy. He hates our Civil Rights and Liberties. He hates our Human Rights. Most country’s despise Harper for what he is doing to Canada. Six members of my family served in WW11. Two were in the liberation of Holland. We are still in touch with the family’s my brothers were friends with. They are sad for their beloved Canada. That dictatorship, is what our young Canadian boys were blown to bits, to prevent. Such as the evil of Harper, governing this country.

    Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Harper, have the same typo personality’s. Control is essential to a dictatorship. Harper has an obsessive controlling personality.

    • Jon Powers says:

      Finally! Someone on this blog compared Harper to Hitler. Now I can drink.

    • Ted B says:

      I really don’t like Harper. I really really really don’t like people who compare him to Hitler or who are so hateful that they say he is a dictator, hates human rights, hates his own country.

      That kind of jumping the shark only helps him because it allows everyone to (justifiably) dismiss all of his critics as just hateful cranks who very very very clearly have never been anywhere near a book about true dictatorships, let alone lived in one.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Julie…clearly, you were not a history or political science major.

      You do not know history, so you create you own…and you do not know what a fascist is….so you make it up.


    • Ottawa Civil Servant says:

      About 80 posts ago I commented on the loss of perspective: Here’s the nadir of the discourse. Some whack job claiming Harper equates to the 3 of the top 10 mass murderers in history.

      WARREN: Please step up and censure this looney-tune.

      BTW: You can educate yourself a little by reading what you are calling our libertarian, Israel-supporting, free-trader Prime Minister: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/mar/10/hitler-vs-stalin-who-killed-more/?pagination=false

  26. Greg says:

    Hardline social conservatism and “trickle-down” economics don’t look good on Canada. I would LOVE to see the PCs go.
    Unfortunately, Canadian policy as a whole is being dictated by the energy sector out here in the West.
    No federal platform that includes a carbon tax or sanctions against the oilsands will EVER gain seats out here because we have a huge number of people who make very good money (and work extremely hard for it!) in the Energy sector with no other real prospects.

    If the Liberals could re-brand themselves as a party STRONGLY supporting civil liberties and shared Canadian ideals (FAIR criminal courts, personal freedom and privacy, access to quality healthcare, education and social services, sensible/peaceful foreign policy) but gave a pass to the industries many peoples’ livelihoods depend on, I could see them having a real shot at putting an end to the PCs.

    Canadians (at least the ones I know) are only swallowing Harper’s right-wing agenda because they’re convinced their jobs are on the chopping block. Give them an alternative.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Greg, everything you ask for is exactly what Harper is trying to do. You simply disagree with how he plans to get there.

      As for the carbon tax…it’s not the oil companies who will be paying it, it will be everybody. And it is a tax on everything…just as Harper said it would be. Everything you buy needs energy to produce, and energy companies will not simply cut their profits..they’ll raise their prices. It amazes me that some people refuse to see that reality.

      • kenn2 says:

        Canadians (at least the ones I know) are only swallowing Harper’s right-wing agenda because they’re convinced their jobs are on the chopping block. Give them an alternative.

        That’s a fair comment. Let’s put this perception into context, though: the party that should be standing up for a sensible centrist position (Liberals) is currently AWOL, and the NDP are still not yet fully aware that they have a shot at power. More important, you can see how effective the CPC has been at creating the impression that the “RoC” and the other parties want to shut down the oilsands, which isn’t true.

        I’m happy that the resource-rich parts of Canada have strong employment. You can relax about your job; reality and the world market are such that resources will be mined and sold no matter who’s in power. But Harper’s blinkered focus on making a virtue out of necessity means that other Canadian sectors are left to struggle without support, and the public sector is actively under attack. Which means that me and my manufacturing province are suffering.

        What makes Harper a dick is that he crows about the oilsands like he and his buddies buried the dinosaurs themselves, and any legit criticism over the speed of exploitation, ecological effects, or the fact that Alberta and Canada are actually being shafted because of subsidies to industry and low royalties, is anti-Canadian.

        • smelter rat says:

          What makes him a dick is that we’ve sold the tar sands to foreigners at the same time that he’s attacking any opposition to this claiming that foreigners are behind the opposition. What makes him a dick is that he consistently pits Canadians against refugeees, claiming that he’s just trying to be fair. What makes him at dick is his obession with gutting important programs via an omnibus budget bill that has little to do with the budget. Let’s be honest, he IS a dick

  27. patrick Deberg says:

    Just when you thought all hope was lost.


  28. Gerald says:

    The tyranny of the right wing Harper and his Nazi cronies that have destroyed the national economy, inflated the dollar and has reaped havoc on the Ontario and Quebec manufacturing industry. The Harper government has allowed the Alberta tar sands to cause irreversible damage to the climate. The Harper government has stepped on the rights of refugees to obtain the basic human right to health care. The Harper government has suppressed the civil liberties of Canadians with the new onmi bus bills. The Harper government has violated the democracy process by pushing through hundreds of pieces of oppressive right winged legislation in a marathon session without any democratic debate. The Harper government has cut funding to arts program, E.I. and old age security leaving little hope for the disadvantaged. The Harper government must be stopped.

    • Jon Powers says:

      Exactly. The time to strike is now, before they finish construction of the Harper Death Star. Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      OH look….another loon comparing Harper to Hitler.

      Gerald…if you ever lived under a tyranny……you would know how idiotic you sound.

      In fact Gerald..based on your comments, it’s clear you are more of an NDP or Greenie type…than a Liberal. Thank God for that…….the last thing the LIberals need is another nut-bar like yourself.

  29. que sera sera says:

    The Harper Government subsidizes Harper’s evangelical Christian fundamentalists but zero funds for RCI:

    – $4.2 Million to the Newman Theological College
    – $3.2 million to Youth for Christ in Winnipeg
    – $192,000 to the world of Truth Christian Center
    – $495,600 to Wycliffe Bible Translators
    – $357,146 to Chakam School of the Bible Inc.
    – $198,951 to National Evangelical Spiritual Baptist Faith International Centre of Canada
    – $84,110 to Eastside Church of God
    – $2.9 million to Redeemer University College
    – $2.614 million to TrinityWestern University

  30. Dude Love says:

    There is this thing called the “Internet” and you can distribute your content the internet via something called Podcasts. A viable alternative exists.

  31. campbell says:

    I watched that video and found it frankly moving. It speaks to the love that public servants of the government have for their work, and it speaks to the importance of keeping seemingly antiquated forms of media alive. Fact is, despite the reality that internet is effective for this sort of information dissemination, it isn’t universally available and is subject to arbitrary censorship by some government authorities. From my (inexperienced) understanding, short radio bridges that gap. And even if the internet is available 99% of places in the world, there are still thousands of people who will rely on this type of technology.
    For the 10 million dollar cost of keeping the program afloat, I would personally pay the 34 cent share for 1000 of my fellow Canadians to keep this sort of media alive. It is too much bang for the buck to cut, and 10 million dollars can literally be found by a minute revision to the 16 billion dollar estimate (or 27? whatever…) to the moneys allocated for the jets… This is a ridiculous place to find savings, and this is why event fiscal conservatives who agree with the Conservatives should be angry as well — governments have the duty to be intelligent and responsible while they try to balance budgets and chart a smart economic course. Stephen Harper is off base here once again.

    • kenn2 says:

      The point that keeps being missed is that the big loss isn’t the shortwave transmissions, it’s the loss of production of RCI content that presented Canada to the world.

  32. Bill From Willowdale says:

    If Harper was PM when the automobile was invented, he’d be vilified for destroying the horse and buggy industry. In the year 2012, I don’t see this as being a big issue or one that the average voter cares much about.

    • smelter rat says:

      Tuypically myopic Con attitude. Can’t see the forest for the trees. Thinking is hard work.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        If thinking is hard work smelter rat…..then that explains the majority of your posts.

        Clearly, hard work is foreign to you.

      • Bill From Willowdale says:

        Wow, that’s a great level of politcal discourse, “smelter rat”.

        My point was simply that things change and the money could be spent in better place, IMHO. BTW, I am not Conservative.

    • W the K - No, not Warren says:

      You’re from Willowdale. What do you know about “the average voter”?

      • Bill From Willowdale says:

        I know as much about “the average voter” as say leaders of the federal polital parties who earn incomes far above the national average. Do you discount their opinions too? Honestly, do you think that the average voter has a short wave radio or, even, knows anything about short wave? In the age of the Internet, this money could be spent in betters ways.

  33. GPAlta says:

    We need to do more than define the problem, we need to define the solution and take pride in it. I believe we have been to timid to name the kind of Canada we believe in, for fear of offending someone.
    Liberals or NDP have to stand up and say that they will change Canada in the next election,
    They will change it from a country that redefines child-soldier so that it can keep one locked up and shamed back into a country that fights for the protection and rehabilitation of children everywhere
    They will change it from a country that obstructs international conferences on climate change and the environment back into a country that sets the standards for the protection and rehabilitation of the human environment
    They will change it from a country that obstructs and silences its own scientists back into a country that leads in the discovery of truth and the free exchange of knowledge
    They will change it from a country that encourages crime by making guns freely available in order to create demand for otherwise unnecessary for-profit prisons back into a country that prevents crime and rehabilitates criminals, rather than turning them into slave labour.
    They will change it from a country where the government goes to the supreme court to prevent scientifically proven safe injection sites from reducing the harm that drugs cause to communities back into a country where the best practices are followed by every public entity
    They will change it from a country that systematically de-funds and undermines organizations that serve women at home and abroad back into a country that seeks to empower all women to overcome fundamentalist opposition to their wellbeing
    They will change it from a country where soldiers injuries are paid for with a single cash settlement back into a country where disabled veterans receive pensions and rehabilitation.
    They will change it from a country where cabinet ministers access soldiers’ private medical records 1000s of times per soldier, looking for ways to shame and discredit them back into a country where everyone’s privacy is protected
    They will change it from a country where charities are not allowed to speak the truth, if the government does not agree with that truth, back into a country where charities are respected and truth remains its own defence
    They will change it from a country where the heads of independent agencies of government can do their work without being replaced for disagreeing with the government
    They will change it from a country where the government debates issues using election advertising that continues day in and day out for years back into a country where the government debates issues in parliament
    They will change it from a country where legitimate applications for immigration are just thrown away back into a country that understands decency in dealing with potential immigrants

    There are so many other positive changes that the opposition parties can name, but seem to be afraid to, so all the choices in an election look the same. But the truth is that they are not the same. The conservatives are systematically working towards an information-free environment where there is no science, no statistics on inequality, no truth in education, no information on crime, and no impartial public media, and there is only one reason: they know that an uninformed majority will be weak, and because of that weakness the conservatives and their friends can more easily profit from their misery with impunity. But by going along with the middle of the road approach to voters, the opposition parties enable the conservatives approach to be legitimized when Canadians should be told that the conservative approach is illegitimate and that there is another way.

  34. JamesHalifax says:

    Warren, I caught you on SUNTV…..complete with Lilley’s graphic of your photo shedding copious tears. I suspect you did not give them the ok to do this?

    But hey….at least the picture itself was a pretty dignified shot. Saying that…have you seen this one yet?


  35. M Reid says:

    Some people are saying, because “I” didnt use shortwave, it couldn’t have been important.. sorry but literally millions do listen, as he says, why do think Russia for example broadcasts in 38 languages, and just opened a London bureau? Why is China acquiring as many abandoned frequencies as it can? Do you think the BBC service is not relied upon by listeners worldwide?

    Also the show the LINK- which i listened to at night sometimes, carried by the CBC across Canada, and apparently- judging by comments posted in various places, was greatly appreciated by Canadians for its Canadian content. Thats somthing they’re certainly not getting with big expensively promoted shows like Q and STrombo. ..which seem to be US wannabees. Personally I liked the Link for the Cdn info, and Cdn music I didnt hear anywhere else, and the sometimes wacky humour.

    If the internet is replacing anything, its TV which is ridiculously expensive…many many more times expensive than radio.. which if I understand is statiscally increasing listenership.. people can listen and do other things, but its hard to watch tv and do other things, also if you do want to watch something on TV, its often on a time when you need to do something else, but can catch it at your convenience -without commercials- on the net.. The CBC should rethink its TV policy not radio…and Mr Harper should rethink policies on Canadian culture

    What a shame.. cutting funding to the NFB, the CBC ( dispatches,) the link, and RCI….very very poor decision

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