Your Dispatches: April 2012 Archives

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Dispatches cancelled. Your comments, Part Ten

Due to CBC budget cuts, Dispatches will go off the air in June. Here is another selection of your comments to us about that. (others below)  Add yours, (Dispatches@cbc.ca) and please tell us where you are writing from.


Jennifer Kelly:

I often preface my lunch-table comments with "I was listening to Dispatches last night, and did you know ...." Usually a lively discussion ensues. There goes any hope of meaningful conversation now .. I am now doomed to listening to the mindless tapping of my table mates texting ...


Linda Paquette, Winnipeg:

I was so disappointed to hear that Dispatches was a victim of cutbacks to CBC.  It was always interesting and enlightening to listen to.  One 'dispatch' that stands out for me is the one about the radio station for kidnap victims and their families in Columbia.  For the victim deep in the forest, that  station 'brought them their world'.   Rick, you and your staff should be very proud of what you accomplished and I hope that, in better times, you can introduce us to people and places, attitudes and achievements, again.  Your show will be missed.


Mel Bradshaw, Toronto:

Dispatches is informative and intelligent. It also manages to be both hard-hitting and humane in its presentation of troubling stories. It delivers important messages with a minimum of ego, without posturing, without attitude. One never gets the impression from Dispatches that the broadcaster considers the teller more important than the tale.

Phyo Aye:

Dear Rick and Dispatches team,

I was absolutely shocked and disheartened when I found out today that Dispatches is the casualty of the recent funding cuts... Dispatches has taught me so many things  about people's lives and events from all corners of the world. I used to listen to it during dinner times when I used to live on my own in Canada.

Even though I now live temporarily in the UK, I still listen to it on podcast. I am originally from Burma and when I hear some stories about my country on Dispatches, I know that other listeners of your program are getting to know a little bit about it and I am always grateful for your coverage.

Thank you for all your great work in the past years. Your voice will surely be missed.

Bradley Kennedy, Winnipeg:

Like many other loyal listeners to your show, I was appalled to hear about Dispatches being cancelled.    It is absolutely disgraceful that one of the most informative shows on the CBC lineup is getting cut.   For many years Dispatches has done an excellent job of keeping Canadians informed about the important issues and current events from around the world.  Thanks for all the great work!


Louise Walters, North Vancouver:

I am disappointed and saddened to hear that Dispatches will no longer be on the CBC Radio. We have so few opportunities to hear about what is going on on the more intimate levels in other countires, this is a shame. Where else can a person in Canada hear about the ordinary lives on people in far away places such as Liberia, Uganda, Borneo just to name a few?

We live in a priviledged and insulated society and programs such as Dispatches makes us remember how fortunate we are to live in Canada. Very few of us will ever travel to these destinations.

I learned about the Chinese immigration to Italy, the impossible inhumanity of man during the Liberian civil war, German streets named after people who committed colonial atrocities in Africa, the plight of the fisher folk in Sri Lanka, Buddhist protest suicide by fire, etc. etc. etc.

Although I often listen casually to CBC radio, I looked forward to Dispatches each week and it is actually the only program I turned my radio on by the schedule.

Barbara Bradford, Vancouver, BC:

...This is one of the most touching, intelligent and informative programs on CBC.  I have no idea why THIS, of all programs, had to go.  I am maintaining hope that this decision will be changed, and that Rick M-R will continue to offer listeners an incredible glimpse of the world around us.

J McConnell, Lockeport, NS:

 I'm well into my 7th, decade but the way I can best express my feelings is to say that the decision to cancell Dispatches totally sucks!

It seems that each time cuts come to CBC, a favourite show goes.So I feel almost guilty for being 'older' but there's not much I can do about the passage of time.. It seems my reward for being a constant CBC Radio listener for close to 50 years is to see my favourite shows pass away before I do. I don' t suppose asking the listeners' opinions was/is an option, but it would be nice!  sort of democratic, audience option, that sort of thing! This cancellation is a further 'dumbing down the CBC...


Bo Turpin:

It's weird, I can't remember a time feeling more outraged or saddened by any news coming from a government agency outside of an audit!
It's reprehensible that the bean counters, in my very own city nonetheless, have elected to cancel a show that so mimics the fabric of our collective Canadian-ness and overlooks other shows that have nothing to do with anything other than sports or when to grow your favorite potted plant.
Simply asinine!
For you Rick, I'd be happy to advocate for your show through my local MP. Failing its success, will you be looking at another similar life online; I hear YouTube pays very well? Your legions await your direction!


Thom Hounsell, Toronto:

... I would happily make a small donation to this and many other CBC shows.  I already support a few NPR shows as it is.  I'm sure I can't be alone in wanting to donate.  CBC would be better off to start canvassing their current fan base for donations while there are still shows worth supporting.

Mary Daniels.  Seattle, WA, USA:

Vanitas vanitatum!  But surely that wisdom tradition cannot hold for "Dispatches," I weep (and, alas, feel powerless to protest, given the dominant ways of power, marketing greed, and too much fear combined with ignorance). 

My only temporary consolation is that today is April 14 and June is some weeks away, sigh.  Although a latecomer listener--I discovered your show only last year via my NPR station KUOW2 in Seattle, WA, airing on Saturday mornings--I thank you for making this weekly hour with your diverse and talented producers and contributors truly the highlight of my week (on a par with the Diane Rehm Show!) and additionally my Saturday morning ritual....


Greg Foweraker, Vancouver

Dispatches is one of the best international programs anywhere. Period. I am distressed to hear that it is being cancelled. Our 11 year old daughter is now starting to take interest in your show; I implore you to keep this program on the air, it is one of the best!


Paul Russo, Penticton, BC:

I enjoy your program a lot. The stories are moving and the people in them are inspiring. It is a testament to the human spirit.

I am a landscaper, specializing in landscape maintenance (gardening and lawn care). I live in Penticton, BC where most of my customers are but I have one lawn I take care of on Thursdays on a Naramata vineyard. Many Thursdays I put in my earbuds under my earmuff-style hearing protection and would listen to your program while working. The program, beautiful yard, surrounding Naramata hillside and view of Okanagan Lake make that job one of my favorite regulars. I still remember some of the stories from last year that I'm sure will stay with me.

You will be missed.

Jean Yang, Toronto

I always plan to write to tell you how much I love Dispatches but never did. The bad news of cancelling Dispatcheres makes me want to let you know that this radio show connects me to other areas of the world.  A very human radio show and touches me.   I hope CBC will reverse its decsion.


Mark Ritchie, Haines Junction, Yukon

I was very surprised and sad to hear that CBC had decided to cancel  your two shows.  I have written to my MP Ryan Leef to express by  displeasure and cc'd your president.

Here's my perception of the situation:

First they came for Dispatches, but I didn't speak out, because I  wasn't a foreign correspondent.

Then they came for (Connect), but I didn't speak out, because I wasn't  interested in what the world should know about Canada.

Then they came for The House, but I didn't speak out, because I wasn't an MP.

Then they finally came for my local CBC Station and there was no Tory  who spoke out to save it.

Meggie Ross:

How can this be? How can a program that encourages us to think globally and gain a better understanding of the world around us be cancelled when other programs with less meaning continue? I enjoy the Debaters, but would't be devastated if it were cancelled. Where are our priorities? I have listened to Dispatches every week for years on my morning run. I listen to programs again when I run out of new ones. There is no replacement. I hope there is a fight organized to object to this decision.
A faithful listener.

Patricia Capp, London On:

My cousin and I are very disappointed by the cancellation of this fine program. My cousin who relies on both cbc radio stations for much of his information (due to being completely blind) is very upset. Please reconsider the cancellation. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express ourselves.


Roberta Hamilton,  Professor Emeritus, Queen's University, Kingston ON:

Dear Rick and Rick's team,   I am deeply sorry about the CBC decision  to cut Dispatches.  The day before I heard  the news I had said to my  son who lives in Toronto:  as long as CBC Radio keeps the really  important programs - namely Dispatches--  we can live to fight another  day....    To cut the only show completely dedicated to the global  community when it has done such a fine job of combining important  stories, human interest, call to arms-- the works -- is truly sad and 
unforgivable.   I felt sick when i heard the news.  Where else will I get such excellent stories that keep me a little abreast of this  astounding world in which we live.   Congratulations to Rick and 


Chau Ha:

Thank you to the Dispatch team and correspondents. I've learned a lot of people, culture and sociopolitical issues that I have never heard of or thought about. It opens my eyes to the wider world, help me understand and connect with people I had not thought of. With great appreciation for all your wonderful story telling.

Let's hope this country wakes up and elects a smart government to restores funding to the CBC and your programme.


Christopher Allen, Niagara On The Lake, ON:

What is going on at CBC?Dispatches is the finest programme of it type on radio today,it is recognized around the world! why would you start cutting at the top with the best? very strange programmeing mentality,it is truly a window to the world that we can depend on,or could...it is this type of quality programmeing that keeps CBC support..you are quickly looseing it.death bye a thousand cuts seems to fit....Dispatches is a proven top quality programme that has only gotten better every year...


Rita Griffin-Short, Hamilton Ontaio:

Dispairing in Hamilton

Well, CBC continues to hack away at programs that have something important to say to all of us.  I'm still hurting at the loss of Madam Charboneau whose wonderfully unique music she brought to us at 6:30 pm with her charming voice and quiet intelligence, now I am to lose a
delightful voice, no stumbling over every other word,  taking me to far places with stories I don't find in our national papers, awakening my interest to investigate further myself.  Where are the voices of yesterday, all gone but for a very few of which you are one.
Now, we are to lose you, Rick.... 

Your program represents for me, rigorous reporting &  articulate presentation... {lease accept my thanks for all those hours of excellent journalism.  May you enjoy whatever is on your agenda for the future.

John Olson, Camrose, Alberta:

Hello, Rick MacInnes-Rae,
"Dispatches" is one of my favorite programs.... I've expressed to my (CPC) MP my concerns about the cuts (current, as well as past) to CBC funding, with copies to other federal party leaders, as well as to CBC.
I'm hoping my "snowflake" is part of an avalanche of backlash.
Thanks for a great program.

Barbara Meneley:

 Dear Dispatches,

It's going to be even harder to find truth once you're gone. Thanks showing us it can be done. That's definitely something to work for.


Dianne Clark, Quispamsis, New Brunswick:

I have been a huge fan of Dispatches for as long as it has been on the CBC.  Every week, I download the podcasts to take along with me on my early morning runs.  I have learned so much about the world from this show, more so than any other program (radio and tv).  Where else could you hear the stories of people and their struggles (and triumphs) that wasn't a 10 second sound bite?   Sometimes the stories gave me hope, and sometimes the stories made me want to cry.  I will sorely miss Dispatches and Rick's thoughtful commentaries.   Unfortunately, it is just another example of how CBC Radio is being slowy gutted of all that makes it a unique and special entity.  I can imagine the time will not be long in coming where I will have to turn the radio off permanently, as there will not being anything worthwhile left to listen to.
Thank you Rick and to all the staff at Dispatches - you will be SORELY missed.


Barbara Pierce, Fredericton:

I just wanted to say how disappointed I was to hear that Dispatches is a victim of the recent CBC budget cuts.  I have always considered your show to be the best of all that CBC has to offer- you present a badly needed window on the lives of ordinary people all around the world.  Your show will truly be missed.


Dirk Rodenburg, Toronto:


So often during the summer months, making the long drive back to Toronto from Kingston, your show kept me awake, engaged and continuously thankful for the CBC.  Often tragic, sometimes brutal, occasionally poignant, always real.  Thank you.

usan Starkman, Toronto:

I'll be in grief during your last program. You've been so courageous, especially about the Middle East. I've loved the program and wish you all well.

Marty Sulsky, Montreal:

Very sad! I agree with your listener who stated that cutting your program is like cutting the brain from the CBC. Or perhaps the Canadian listening public. I've always believed that part of being Canadian was caring about the world and now we will know so much less about what is going on outside our borders. Thank you for all the information you have shared with us.


Ms Bernie M Walsh, Miramichi, NB:

Dear Dispatches people;
Has it been 12 years?  This is simply the best radio show on the planet Earth. The concept is brilliant, talking with journalists who are already on assignment to extract more stories from that part of the world is a stroke of genuis. This is educational, informative, culturally (anthropological) sensitive.
No matter how I examine it; I cannot imagine why this program is being cancelled.  It couldn't possibly be because of expense. The journalists/correspondents and crew are already on site. The other employees are in Canada and presumably earning a salary without the expense of overseas travel.  The CBC already has the studios, an hour of programming to fill and I assume you, Rick, as Senior CBC correspondent and long term government employee has some kind of security that you can't be easily dismissed (I hope so).  And todays communications system
are very inexpensive not like the "long distance calls" of the old days . 
 This is my  favourite radiop program and I'm exremely upset, to say the least...


Robert DeWreede, Vancouver:

I have lived and worked in many countries, and your amazing program has done much to keep me in touch with some of these countries (Sierra Leone, Philippines, Indonesia, Panama), and to inform me on ones I do not know first hand. 

The in-depth reporting, the meaningful subjects you cover, all have given me a feeling that these broadcasts really have given me an understanding missing in most other programs.
I will miss your program; I wish disseminating knowledge could trump paying for fighter jets.


Reg Whiten, Moberly Lake, BC:

Hey Rick....I feel like I know you on a first name basis...really can't understand how the CBC execs figured your show was expendable....your eloquent, provocative, insightful and just plain interesting travelogues will be greatly missed!


Elaine Campbell, Red Deer, Alberta:

Dear Rick MacInnes-Rae and all Dispatches Staff:

 SO sad to see that Dispatches is being cancelled due to budget cuts.  My husband, son and I have been fans of your show for many years.  The stories that we have listened to on your show are about important world issues that we often hear about no other place. 

 I have fond memories of great discussions around our dinner table and in the car with my now young-adult son based on topics covered on your show.  Your show tied into many of his high-school Social Studies topics and your stories brought issues to life for him.  You helped to educate a young mind (and a couple of old ones, too) in our home.

 Your programs are thought-provoking, eye-opening, and very often heart breaking but critical for all of us to hear.  Your interview skills are amazing as are the skills of your correspondents and staff to put together such an amazing show.   Thanks for all your great work!

 I will be writing to my

MP about the cuts in funding to the CBC and will encourage as many people as I can to do the same.  I hope that my voice will help keep you on the air (and on the web because that is where I listen to it).

P.S. Love your theme music too.  Will truly miss everything about your show. Sob!

Laurie Paquin, Lansdowne, Ontario:

I am truly sorry to hear of the termination of this show. I have listened to it regularly, sometimes twice a week. I welcome the personal reporting style and the variety of stories that would not reach me any other way. I will miss your show and wish the powers that be would reconsider their decision.


Cheryl Sutherland, Ottawa:

Hello, Rick and team:  I am very sorry about the cancellation of your programme. I have posted the same sentiments on message boards when the cut was announced.  You have kept me company on Sunday evenings and informed me about social trends, health impacts, and cultures that I have not heard anywhere else on the dial. I found the coverage of Africa and Latin America particularly informative. You will be deeply missed!

And also, thanks for reading my letter earlier this spring in response to the feature documentary about the community that was burying the dead carried by the passing river-- I did not hear my letter but my sister in Regina did.

kindest regards


Brian Schack, Salt Spring Island, BC:

... It was always a joy to listen to Dispatches on the radio, to find out about life in other parts of the world, to hear about customs, activities, and news that I had never heard about before.

I suspect there are some that would argue that the internet and the ever-expanding choice of TV stations have made the world so accessible that shows such as Dispatches are no longer needed.  However, the opposite is true.  New media has just made it easier to hear more about the same old things.  Instead of one news outlet covering a story, we have a multitude of sources all talking about exactly the same thing. Dispatches cut through that deluge of noise and brought us something truly different...

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Dispatches cancelled. Your comments Part Nine

Due to CBC budget cuts, Dispatches will go off the air in June. Here is another selection of your comments to us about that. (others below)  Add yours, (Dispatches@cbc.ca) and please tell us where you are writing from.


Holly Johnson, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario:

I grew up listening to CBC radio, and have heard many programs come and go. But this time, I feel that I must lodge a protest. I was horrified when my mother told me of the cancellation of Dispatches. She listens to the Thursday broadcast, while I listen to the podcast.

If CBC is concerned about appealing to young people, this is the wrong program to cut. I am  a millenial, and Dispatches is the most relevant program that CBC produces, out of all their radio and television broadcasts.

Dispatches is one of the things that makes me proud to be Canadian. It is a symbol of how Canada relates to the world. As the program tells the stories of people from every country - their hopes, their tragedies, their loves, their fears - it makes listeners feel as if they were hearing the stories of their neighbours.

I have vivid memories of listening to CBC broadcasts on the first Gulf War, Bosnia and many other stories that as a child and feeling as if I was there. Rick MacInnes Rae was one of the voices who told those stories. His narration on Dispatches, between quality documentaries, interviews and reports, makes me see the world in that same vivid way again. Thank you, to Rick, to all those who work behind the scenes and all those who produce the stories on the field. Dispatches truly has brought me the world.


Michael de Montreuil, Clinton, BC:

What a profound shame that dispatches has been cancelled, and that foreign news offices are being closed. I fear that, if the cuts continue, CBC will become a consumer of news rather than a source.

Lindsay D. Scarborough, On:

i've listened to dispatches for years--i listen in the kitchen while i cook or do the dishes, or in the car (often arriving at my destination but staying in the car until a story is done!), or listening to the podcasts while i'm on the bus or subway. i've even gushed about you on my facebook page to encourage others to tune in!

i feel so privileged to hear all the reports and get an inside view--or just a view, period--into all kinds of issues & lives in all corners of the world.

thank you so much.

Karen Linnett, Toronto:

Nothing really good seems to hang around long enough. I will have serious withdrawal problems when Dispatches is gone. Nonetheless, I am enormously grateful for all the valuable programs, the knowledge, the humanity, that you have given me and all the other listeners. Like one other fan I heard today, I often listened to the program twice.


Lorraine Koren, Vancouver:

      Rick et al,

I have so much enjoyed your program over these years. It always rang true with a certain gritty honesty - felt very much like a chance to get into the real issues ordinary people are facing around the world. Your format, your manner and the issues chosen are so important. I hope you find another venue to do this vital work.

Samantha Lloyd, PhD Student, Physics & Astronomy
University of Victoria:


I am devastated. I feel that Dispatches and its correspondents have taught me more about global current events and history than the public school system ever could and its departure will certainly detract from the acute global awareness of its followers. Context is essential for understanding, and the minute long news bites that make up today's mainstream news broadcasts, often including The National, can't be compared to the in-depth and often personal accounts relayed by your correspondents.

You can imagine that there isn't very much media that young people are willing to pay for anymore, but yours is a program that I would be willing to pay for to have the privilege of listening in every week. As a student who can't afford the opportunity to travel and observe for myself, Dispatches truly did bring me the world.

Patricia Winston, Montréal, QC:

I cannot express deeply enough how sorry I am that 'Dispatches' has been cancelled due to the Federal Government's budget cuts.  It is devastating news.  I have been listening to your programme for years and the sound of your voice on the airwaves and the reports you related brought us all closer to the world stage.

 I feel I am losing a friend.  I wish you luck in whatever your future plans may be and I hope you know that 'Dispatches' will be sorely missed.  
Qui Tacet Consentit-Who is Silent Consents


Sarah Godoy, Vancouver:

I can't write a lot right now because I am crying too hard.  This show is essential - it is one of the greatest programs, which, in turn makes the CBC great....I grew up with the CBC, and have been proud for my tax dollars to support this quality program.

Today I am a mother and part of a mixed culture family.  How special it feels to occasionally hear stories from my husband's country - and how much I have learned about other parts of the world via this programme. 

DISPATCHES is a legacy I want for my child.  I simply cannot accept that this is cancellation is happening.  I'll fight to the end for the CBC, but if Dispatches goes the CBC will lose a lot of the fight in me.  Just that much less to fight for.


Stephen Anderson, Calgary:

...Dispatches has been a regular pleasure for me for many years now and has always been very informative and entertaining with it's diverse subjects and sources.
Your program has featured many great stories from areas of the World that I otherwise may not have been aware of and am disappointed in the cuts suffered by one of the World's great radio broadcasting institutions. ..

Don't go down without a good fight ! I'd much rather have the CBC healthy and active than the fighter jets that will cost us much much more. After all, knowledge is the most powerful force there is. Please help show that the pen is mightier than the sword.


Tom Walker, Bragg Creek, Alberta:

 Well we elected these guys, We gave them a mandate to do" the job".So now they're doing.... "The Job".
But I can tell you this -  based on what I've seen them do with the mandate. I'll be first in line at the poles to hold them accountable for this and a number of other funding maneuver. I kinda think I'll not be alone in this... Stephen  get your resume in order you just might need it. ( previous conservative prime ministers remain famous for major mistakes made Dief and Mulroney are very good examples .... Is this yours, Mr Harper?


Anne Spencer, Victoria BC:

Just wanted to let you know how sorry i am that this show is being cut. I listen to it every week - love the intro music, and RM<R as the host. I take the podcast on one of my daily walks and it's as good as a course on foreign happenings. We're getting to be like the states in not having good info about foreign news...Now I will have to reply on From your own Correspondent and other BBCprogramme podcasts.

Anyway, good luck and thanks again.


Diana Raynor, Gibsons, BC:

Dear Dispatches.  It was with disbelief that I learned you would be no more.  Your program has always seemed to me to be the epitome of broadcast journalism ... intelligent, humane, compassionate, honest, kind ... and with no journalist's ego getting between myself and the story being told. 

Your program has long been one of my favourites, the same for my daughter, Kate, now travelling the world partly fuelled by curiosity fuelled by programs such as yours.  Oh please ask the CBC to make cuts in the awful background music they keep playing on other shows or cut some of the less than wonderful television programs.  Radio is so precious, and you are of the best of radio.  Thank you. 


Pat Higinbotham, BC:

I don't even know where to start.

with my outrage at the federal government for the CBC budget cuts, and my dismay at the loss of your show. Are we supposed to now entrust our world view to anyone with a smart phone, tablet or other internet connection?
I feel bereft, and I'll leave it at that, for now. Thank you. Bless you.

Carole MacInnis, Port Hawkesbury, NS:

Dispatches was the eyes for our ears with stories from countries all over the world;  always so very interesting and informative.  A bad decision for the powers to be to cancel this wonderful show.  It will be missed by  CBC audiences.


Evelyn Fox, Chilliwack, B.C.

 After hearing that Dispatches has been cancelled, I have finally conceded that the CBC has totally lost its way.

For as long as I can remember, every radio in our home has been dialed to the CBC. For year after year, we have trusted you to bring us the best in objective news reporting and the most interesting and honest stories but now it seems, in seeking to become a commercially viable radio network, you have sacrificed the genuine for the popular, the valuable for the trifling...


Don Frenette, Victoria:

I am sorry at the CBC decision to cancel. I will miss that program and the signature voice of Rick M-R.

Louise K, Toronto:

 ...  As a teacher of English in a high school just north of the city, I always encouraged my students to broaden their perspectives by listening to Dispatches.  It was especially vital for the creative writing class, and the bright, young minds always wrote something thoughtful after a discussion about what they had heard the night before.

I am going to miss this show very much, and I can't think of another CBC show that is able to provoke thought, entertain and inform as well as yours does about international affairs.  Thank you for your years of hard work, and many thanks to everybody who worked with you.


Jim Maitre, Revelstoke, BC:

Dear Sir,

My condolences for the imminent end to your fine program. At a time when globalization needs to be understood more than ever, such a contrary, dumbing down initiative smacks of being penny wise but pound foolish. Hopefully there will be another similar production in the future. Thank you for many years of bringing perspective to my life.


Dispatches should never have been cancelled.


Nicola Carmichael, Richmond, BC:

Dear Rick,
I am totally dismayed and disgusted to hear that your show has been cancelled.  It makes absolutely no sense!  Such an informative and interesting show should NOT be taken away.   Your reports are always insightful, thought provoking - often to the point of tears - and provide a window to parts of the world that we would not otherwise "see".  The day of your last show will be a very sad day indeed.

Diane Estabrook, Summerland:



Sandy Ingham, Vancouver:

 Have listened to Dispatches pretty much every week since the show started. I am saddened and concerned that its multitude of unique voices will be silenced. The format of Dispatches gave the Canadian listener compassionate yet clear-eyed coverage of important international issues through the eyes of the individual people involved. Can't understand why this show will end shortly.

Chrastina Judy:

Can't bear it...  Dispatches is such a part of my CBC...
I love to travel myself and I have enjoyed travelling with you and learning more about the world through your eyes... Thank you for what you have shared with me and good luck in the future

Colleen Driscoll, Nelson BC: 

Hi Rick and crew
....Rick, you have made laugh and made me cry..You have brought me the world with grace and understanding...I podcast your show and listen as I walk downtown Nelson. You help me realize I am so blessed to love in Nelson, BC and in Canada.You helped open my eyes to good and the bad in this big world we live in..Please know you will be missed- I hope you will continue to work for CBC. Your voice is reassuring in this unsettled world we live in....Come visit Nelson on your way to Tofino....You could do a speaking series on your adventures....
Thank you,Thank you, Thank you ....


Phyllis Webster, Victoria, BC:

...I feel as if a window onto the world has been slammed in my face. It is one of the best sources of excellent information on issues which are not often covered.

I listened online while I lived in Argentina earlier in the year and was so interested in interviews with two people, one who was tortured and one who tortured  and their reconciliation.  I wish the Argentines had heard it because La Guerra Sucia continues to echo through that beautiful and haunted country.  Thank you for helping us understand the world!


John Kittridge, Brantford, ON:

Dear Rick,
... The decision to cancel such a fine programme, one which delivers a crucially important message, is just about as wrong-headed as it gets. Dispatches brings us the world in a way that is immediate and relevant to Canadians.

As an immigrant Canadian, I am often surprised and a little disappointed by the parochial outlook in evidence in daily life, this despite the fact that Canadians live in the world's most successful multi-cultural society, a true multi-cultural mosaic.

Dispatches presents the Global Village in a rich and nuanced way, true to the original meaning of the term, which implied intimacy, understanding and acceptance of diversity. Sadly, the interpretation of Global village favoured by the present government and, lamentably, by the decision makers at the CBC suggests an existence of ignorance derived from isolation, a village of the Dark Ages remade in the age of near-instant communication.

The loss of Dispatches is a very sad step in the evolution of CBC programming, dragging us down and backwards toward the mind-numbing fare that is the darling of government and business, the antithesis of growth and true progress. As the song said, 'We are devo, d-e-v-o'.
With many thanks for a job well done.

Jean Gaucher:

I join the ever-lengthening list of listeners who are appalled and dismayed to hear that the axe has fallen on, arguably, the very best of radio shows produced by CBC.  Rick has been the perfect host for this intelligent, wide-ranging and informative "window on the world". 
I can understand that some cuts were required, but why cut the brightest and the best?  It will be sorely missed by many.

 Geoff Rowe, Ottawa:

 My family and I have been regular listeners of Dispatches,it's long been a favourite of ours.  We are going to miss it.I don't know how to go about finding a replacement for it.

John McIntyre, Kelowna:

Dear Dispatches and Rick,

I was mortified when I heard you were being cancelled.  As a retired Social Studies high school teacher, and one who has done considerable traveling around the world, your program brought real concerns of real people in less fortunate countries to us.  What better way to educate Canadians, who have never travelled and don't "get it", about how good we have it here, and how compassionate we should be towards those who are struggling.  The gov't has made a huge mistake.  I'm writing  to our Min. of Foreign Affairs and the PM.  Best Wishes,  J Mc


Steven Mirra:

Since I discovered Dispatches 3 years ago, it has been such a source of education, and always look forward to a new podcast every Thursday.

This US citizen will be sad to see this program go. It is a shame that the US doesn't have thought provoking, educating programs like this. I will be downloading all the podcasts I can to revisit and learn about how complex our world can be.


Brian Sorel, Bedford, Quebec:

Thanks for the many hours of great informative shows. I am at a loss on how a decision is made to cut one of,in my opinion the best programs on CBC radio. For that matter on any public funded radio network. It' a sad day for public broadcasting in Canada. All the best Rick and everyone who made it the great program it is.


Gwen Chute, Belcarra:

I am stunned and saddened .... there is something truly evil at work here .... Thankyou so much for such extraordinary programming ..... I hate feeling so helpless!   The 'aid' to Mali is over $110,000,000.00 per year  ..... and they cut the CBC?  Please don't disappear .... only transform!  Run for MP in my riding (Mr. Moore's)!

Thanks again.


John Main, Bobcaygeon, On:

It is with great disappointment that I learn of CBCs decision to end this program. I have enjoyed listening to Dispatches for a long time. It has been a great window on the world outside Canada and as far as I'm concerned, has been a great service to Canadians. It is one of those programs that makes us different from our neighbours to the south who seem to largely live in a bubble with little   perspective on the world outside their borders.
I see the systematic crippling of CBC by our government as a regressive and devious agenda to dumb down the Canadian public.

Clive, Winnipeg:

Dispatches is the preeminent current affairs show on radio and will be sadly missed by this Winnipeg listener. I don't know why the CBC couldn't cut something like one episode of Doyle which would probably pay for ten seasons of a quality radio programme like this one.

I have a suspicion that this is more of a cut your nose off to spite the Government rather than any rational decision-making.

Thanks a million for all the past good work.

Emilie and Warner Aeyelts, Tappen, BC:

 Dear Rick and crew,

 ... Your program was always so very welcome in a world where we mostly receive our information in 8 seconds soundbites and very little background or follow-up on the news items.

One of the things that we do so much better here than in the States for example is that we do care about what happens in the rest of the world and that we want to be well informed  and educated about developments that impact our fellow humans all over the globe. For that reason alone your program should be continued and if anything , there should be more of it. We will miss you terribly.


Roxanne Yanishewski, Prince George, BC:

 I want to say thank you for the many wonderful shows you have provided.  Your show elevated CBC's intellectually in a way that few other programs could.  You have helped me to move beyond sterotypes about  religions, cultures, and countries to a deeper understanding of and empathy for the people who live in the various areas you have covered.  I am extremely grateful for the education you have given me.  I will miss you dearly.  And I will be fighting for you continuation.


Glen Nicholson, Prince George, BC:

     Dear Dispatches,

I hope that CBC will respond to the outcry and reverse its decision to
kill Dispatches.  Not only is your program one of the truly great shows
(such as Ideas) but it performs the extraordinary function of bringing
together people from all around the world.  Xenophobia (underlying
racism) is one of the biggest threats to civilization and peace.

You generate empathy by turning people of foreign cultures into our
neighbours.  This is the best form of peacekeeping.  By taking us into
small villages around the world, you make the entire world a local
place; this is the very best kind of local programming.

I hope you will let CBC know that Dispatches is too important to cancel.

If you must leave the air, then please accept my thanks.


Val Koziol, Toronto: 

Hi Rick,

I can't express how disappointed I am that your wonderful show is being cut.  I just can't figure it out ... this is intelligent radio, it covers the world, the quality is consistently high ... I am very sad and disappointed that government cutbacks and CBC management decisions have led to the demise of your program.  We will mourn this loss, and we will not forget what led to it.

I wish you all the best -- you're the best.

Take care,


Mark Anderson, P.Eng. Water Quality Engineer, Cambridge ON:

 Harper's recent cuts to CBC have upset me greatly and I almost hit the roof when I found out that Dispatches was a casualty in Harper's war on public broadcasting.  I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Rick MacInnes-Rae and the rest of the Dispatches team for doing such a brilliant job of bringing us stories from across the world.  I am furious that the Harper government has no regard for Canadian culture and believes that we don't need to know what's going on in the world.


Catherine Thompson, Cambridge ON:

HI Rick,
I am so angry and sad that Dispatches has been axed. It is my favorite show because of the truth, integrity and depth of the reporting. I learn so much from the show and appreciate how thoughtful and thought-provoking it is. Increasingly, news is reduced to a short sound bite about North American culture.

Even the National is not as critical as it used to be. It is the CBC's responsibilty to inform our citizens about events and situations that impact the world and our country. More and more I hear people talking about fluff---who is in style etc. as though it is all important to our lives.

Canadians love to talk about how ignorant Americans are, but we are going to be as bad or worse without programmes like yours. It is in the government's best interests that the CBC dies and the CBC will be irrelevant if it only has "commerical programmes" and not informative material. I don't understand why the CBC is doing the government's dirty work.   I hope that the fight isn't over. Thanks so much for all you have done for our country and all your listeners,


Randy Goldman, Mississauga, ON:

...I love the show. These small, unique stories from around the world connect me to places I will never visit and often never hear about in any other media or radio show.  It is incredible to hear stories of how people persevere in the face of hardships and to hear about the small successes that happen in places from which we usually hear only negative reports. Rick MacInnes-Rae is an excellent host and interviewer. I hope that there is a role for him at CBC 1 after Dispatches is off the air.

Perhaps Dispatches can return in the future when a more compassionate government takes control in Ottawa. ... If it wasn't for the CBC, I wouldn't be as connected with  my city, region, the country and the world. Thank  you Dispatches for what you have brought to my life and thank you CBC for continuing to help me to be aware of the world around me.

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Dispatches cancelled. Your comments Part Eight

Due to CBC budget cuts, Dispatches will go off the air in June. Here are some more of your comments about that. (others below)  Add yours, and please tell us where you are writing from.


Jay S. Keystone MD MSc (CTM) FRCPC
Tropical Disease Unit
Toronto General Hospital:


As an expert in tropical medicine with considerable knowledge of the less developed world, I never fail to be amazed at how much more I learn from dispatches, by far ,with no close second, the best programme on CBC radio.Where else on CBC can insular Canadians learn about the world around them? It is disheartening, disappointing and disturbing that this flagship programme is slated to disappear. I am outraged and incredibly saddened by the poor choice of cuts by CBC executives.I may have to go back to listening to CFRB.Bummer!

Rick , you were outstanding, ....and still are!


Anne Trites, North Vancouver, BC:

Like losing a favourite  teacher.

I can't say much more than that. I have been listening since I can't remember when and a more even-handed attitude toward world events - always placed in context. The CBC will be less for this cut, which is what appears to be the government's wish.


Cathy White, Portugal Cove - St. Philip's, Nfld:

Dear Rick:
Today's horrific story about the life of a Liberian woman is just one example of why I am angry about "Dispatches" being cancelled.
I consider myself a "citizen of the world" and have many friends who come from countries like Liberia. I am a member of the Multicultural Woman's Organization of Newfoundland Labrador (MWONL).
Stories of human rights violations are not new to me, as I have personally spent time with 2 female refugees from Liberia. And I have helped them to settle into their new homes in St. John's.
Of all the programs that CBC could cut, "Dispatches" is the last one I would choose.  This moving story (which has just ended) has touched me deeply.
Canadians need to hear these stories...

Jane, Toronto:

Hey Rick, sorry to heard about Dispatches being cancelled. Your show was a life line for me in the last 7 years while I was recovering from c-sections and nursing new babies. When I was bed ridden or too exhausted to read news online, your show fed my need for international news and intelligent dialogue on world issues. Thanks for that and for keeping me company a few times a day.
Good luck with the future


Bob Keelaghan, Calgary:

Hi Folks,
 want to let you know that, in the parlance of our times, downright pissed off that Dispatches was cancelled.  It was a great show.  It hope the staff that produced it will regroup and so another show as good, soon.

Rather than blather, I'll append the complaint e-mail I sent to the CBC.

all the best


PJ Hopper:

Hi Rick.
 I am really sorry to hear that your show is being cancelled. I am just an ordinary Canadian living in a rural area, and I get a lot of my information about the world from the CBC. Your program is always interesting and informative without seeming like a lecture.
 I would pay for a subscription to this program if I was offered the chance to do so in order to keep it going. Maybe its time to think about such solutions.
 Goodbye and good luck Rick and crew.


Edie Hippern, Dartmouth:

Dispatches has to be one of my most favourite shows on CBC I never miss it and oftern listen to the same show on another time slot. Intelligent, thought-provoking and so very informative. Simply exemplary of the best that the CBC does. WHO MADE THIS DECISION! I want to write and tell them how stupid they are. I hope that this is a ploy to make listeners angry enough at the government for  reneging on their promise to leave CBC funding and that this decision will be reversed. What are CBC management thinking? So angry I could chew nails.


Stephen Bates, Wellington, NS:

I've always enjoyed listening to your "Dispatches" from far-flung parts of the world, some of which I've visited.  I also always listen to you on my long commute between Moncton and Halifax.  You are part of the glue that holds our country together.  Stay tuned!


Maggie McGroarty, Toronto:

I am so sorry to hear about your cancellation.  Dispatches is wonderful.  It offers vital background and world information that is not necessarily tied to the latest headlines or atrocities.  Dispatches is distinct from other CBC Radio programming, especially when it airs solution or resolution-based features. Please forward this comment to the CBC president and chair.  I will miss you. 

Your fan

Karen Mitchell, Waterloo:

Wouldn't you know it; one of the few programs I listen to without fail each week on CBC Radio One. Dispatches has provided me with a global and informative window into world issues and I shall miss the program more than I care to think.

I find it hard to imagine there aren't other programs, which I never listen to that could not be cut instead of Dispatches.  I'm really sorry.  Canadians have so few homegrown programs that are so well done and interesting.

Yours sincerely with many thanks

E. Andrews, NL:

The cancellation of this programme goes against the very spirit of the service I thought CBC was supposed to be providing to the people of Canada. What other radio station that we have available is going to provide this sort of programmimg?

This is an extremely short-sighted decision.

Janis Warne, a lifelong CBC fan:

I am so sorry that Dispatches will be cancelled. I realize that choices
had to be made at CBC with the slashing of its budget by the Harper
government (personally, I think that government should be cancelled
instead), but taking such a great, informative program off the air is
really a crime. I'm in my 50s now, and my world travelling days are
over, but I am still keenly interested in what is happening on our
beautiful planet, and your show, as its slogan goes, brings me the
world. Always interesting and insightful, the show has been part of my
continuing education.

I am going to miss you terribly Dispatches. I am also going to do
whatever I can to work for the survival of CBC through the dark years of
the Con government, and after it is voted out, to ensure that CBC
receives all the funding it needs to do its job well. Maybe Dispatches
will return one day. I hope so!



Carole Paquin, Rockport, Ontario:

I am a devoted CBC listener and I am saddened that Rick MacInnes-Rae will no longer be a part of my life. He has brought a valuable perspective on world new into the homes of CBC listeners.
Please, please reconsider; perhaps there is another program that could be cancelled, one not as informative and essential as is Dispatches.


Darce Fardy:

I was amazed, and shouldn't have been, at the public reaction heard on the program today respecting the cancellation of Dispatches. I'm a retired old guy who spent 39 years on the journalism-management side of the corporation.I'm unable to understand the decision. It makes no sense.. Isn't this what public bnroadcasing is designed to do, explain the world to its listeners.. As a publicly supported body the CBC is obliged to explain how that decision was reached and what savings will be achieved by the death of Dispatches...That;s what the Access to Information legislation is all about... requinrg "public bodies" to be accountable to the public.


Christian Morrison, Toronto 


If there is any way to avoid the cancellation of Dispatches, please do it. Compassion and concern for the lives of others, which is what Dispatches is all about, is as Canadian as Hockey Night in Canada and Don Cherry, even.

Dispatches fills a void that will gape larger as conventional media, controlled by interests to vast to list, continues to ignore what's happening on the ground around the world.

Ted Wallace: 

I was, and am, very disappointed to hear that Dispatches will soon be cancelled due to the recent Federal budget cuts.  Being a long time fan of the show, I will miss the insight and in-depth perspective that Dispatches has always brought to the table.  The more personal perspective an international story has, the more personal impact it will have on its listener.  One of your show's greatest strengths was that the stories wove together fragments of detail and intimacy told through personal accounts, that brought us into the world of the teller,  even though the story's setting was often thousands of miles away.

Thank you for your continued work in lessening the distance between here and there.


Catherine Mallory, London, On:

Please let the people who have decided to cancel your programme to reconsider this terrible decision...so many people love your show!


Shawn O'Donnell, Hamilton Ontario:

Dispatches makes me more " Canadian" and proud. Please fight. My vote will COUNT.       


Alex deVries, Ottawa:

I started hearing Dispatches because the radio was on anyway. Then I started listening. Now I will miss it forever.


Valerie Senyk, Guelph:

I am so sorry Dispatches is one of the CBC shows being cut!  It's wonderful to listen to such indepth international stories - the news only gives one a superficial idea of what's occurring. We NEED to have a better grasp of what's occurring internationally - it's the nature of life in our world. I feel cutting Dispatches is a bad decision...Please let my viewpoint be known where it may count.


Vic Mueller, St. Catharines, ON

 To all

I am disappointed to see this program cancelled.  I really enjoyed the information, interviews, and even the sound of Rick's voice - unique.  Thanks Rick.


Paul Paquette, Cambridge, Ontario:

 I'm very saddened by the cancellation of this excellent program. This is a significant loss for all of us. It comes at a time when there are so many other depredations of the elements which form my idea of Canada, and acts as a kind of emblem of all these losses.


Joan Middlebrook:

There has been much discussion among my friends that cbc is dumbing down.  Should we lose Dispatches this is further evidence.  Dispatches is one of the most intelligent, well edited  and informative programs on radio and also tv., It can briefly tell us stories that hit our head and hearts and are truly memorable, thus teaching  us how fortunate we are to live in Canada.

These stories stir our conscience and inspire us to try a little better to help out and improve the society we live in. 


Paula O'Connor:

Hello Dispatches team

I am in denial that Dispatches will cease to air soon. I shall miss it. I am also wondering what it was that forced the decision? Were ratings dropping, costs rising. I would love to know why this show has been axed and not some others that we could clearly do without.

Could Dispatched be saved by reigning in costs, re-budgeting, airing less frequently. PLEEASE!

This diverse and articulate show that looks out at the world is always fascinating. Where is another show that always seeks to cover international issues? Dispatches does so with such clarity and intelligence. Must we have only Canada-centric shows? Is this a dumbing-down of the CBC in some misguided attempt to get more audiences? I am truly at a loss to fathom the thinking behind this decision.

Colleen Stinson, Grayson, SK:

I am so sorry to hear that one of my favorite radio shows is cancelled. It brings the world to rural Canada.  Thank you for all the great journalism and stories over the years.  I will truly miss your show.

Best wishes for the future,

Sean Grant;

With the advent of podcasts, I loved dispatches even more. Anywhere in the world, I can get a little bit of CBC and dispatches, Im saddened that my two girls will not grow up with it. Hang in there, I truly wish it was not cancelled.
Thank God we will save a few dollars in the budget to get 25 billion dollars worth of warcraft.
You will truly be missed.

Derek Blackadder, Cobourg, ON:

My thanks to everyone who has worked on Dispatches over the years.

I listened to the show as much as I could when it was broadcast only, but since the move to podcasting I haven't missed an episode.

I've listened to Dispatches in my local Y and numerous hotel fitness rooms while following doctor's orders.  Without Dispatches I might be dead now, having expired of a heart attack, unable to face the cardio machines without the distraction you gave me, the boredom Disptaches eliminated.

Dispatches was often company on drives across Ontario from Cobourg to Kenora, Timmins to Windsor.

Oddly, Dispatches was also a connection to home in places like India, Nicaragua, Cuba, Turkey, Italy and the UK.  Even if the segment topics weren't Canadian, the take was and so a story about something South African often felt like a bit of home.

I dunno if I am a better person for having been aurally taken to the places you went, but I am certainly better informed and more open to the world than I would have been without you all, and your very good work.  Thanks.


Della Webster, New Brunswick 


I am gutted that I will not be hearing this at the end of Dispatches once July arrives this year.
Your program certainly brought 'The World' to Canadians from Coast to Coast.
It informed, shook us from our complacency and gave us hope for a better, fairer earth.
I am writing my MP as well as Heritage Minister, Hon. James Moore as well as our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper to see if there is anyway that we can save your program from the axe.
I live in hope.

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Dispatches cancelled. Your comments Part Seven

 Due to CBC budget cuts, Dispatches will go off the air in June. Here are some more of your comments about that. (others below)  Add yours, and please tell us where you are writing from.


Annabelle Twilley Richardson:

This from an old woman in Perth.

You most certainly "Brought me the world" to paraphrase. What I particularly valued were the varied perspectives of the reporters, who certainly weren't "white bread". Loved your theme with that guitar that, in my imagination, had me travelling back roads to isolated places, in a jeep, wearing  a backpack, as a guide....the reporter....shared how important the events happening out there on the fringes, were to all of us.
"As It Happens"  and (others) can't do what you have been accomplishing; managing to interpret and share the viewpoint of those in those far flung places. Their's is the viewpoint of the North American midddle-class, with the selection of topics, made in consideration as to what this audience would find palatable. Often its news we have already heard, frequently first on Dispatches.
Shame on the CBC for not even trying to find some way to keep this little program going, such as digitally. Any hope that "the powers that be" might reconsider (Like do away with some of those inane so-called comedy shows...maybe consider them or at least one long running one in particular, "Drama" ?). Nah ! Won't happen. Can't. Can't look beyond their own noses. 

Clinton Wright, Kamloops:

Rick, I'm very sorry to hear the news of the cancellation. I have loved the show for quite some time and never miss it. A sad day for Canadian radio. Wish you all the best. Good work!


Chris Paul:

Dear Rick,

Sorry to hear that Dispatches -- one of the best shows on the network -- has been cut, but not surprised, given the attitudes of government and management. Over the past few years I've been switching to listening to the BBC, since they're still interested in producing intelligent, grown-up radio of the sort that people need and deserve. The death of Dispatches will mean the BBC will have my ear for even more hours each week.


Peter Riddihough, Toronto:

Deeply saddened to learn that the show will be cancelled. Dispatches has long been one of my "must listens" Your long format reports have always added valuable depth & insight to stories one might otherwise only catch in headlines and Mr. MacInnes-Rae has been an ideal host.

Several other programs I would have sacrificed first - Dispatches goes to the heart of what I expect and value from the CBC; high calibre journalism I can't find anywhere else.

Thanks for the great work.


Mark MacKenzie, Chilliwack:
          Dispatches is the best show on radio.

Thank you for the intelligent and thought provoking stories.


Paul Blicharski, Oakville:

Dear Rick and company,
I'm very disappointed like many of listeners. With no doubt it is the best program on CBC radio. I can't accept that. It's not over yet, but the same time I want to say "congratulation" to the CBC management for such an "excellent" job. His Excellency Harper will be proud of you, and at the end of the season (I'm sure) you will get your bonuses and medals for your lifetime achievements.

Au revoir


John Azar,  Victoria, BC:

Hello Rick:

It was with GREAT sadness and much disgust that I heard of the cancellation of Dispatches. Your program was a gem.

This will considerably increase the dumbing-down of CBC Radio news.  The so-called "World at - name your time" is shockingly simplistic and trite and doesn't hold a candle to the Dispatches in bringing us the world.

Congratulations to you and your crew for a brilliant program.

Please let me know where else to write if there is any chance of the decision being changed.

All the best.


Lara Gertner:


I am writing to express my extreme disappointment at the cancellation of Dispatches. Although I understand that the CBC is cutting a number of programs in response to federal cuts to the Corporation's budget, I believe Dispatches is an always-excellent program that holds a unique place in the Canadian media market.

Always diverse and intelligent, Dispatches takes Canadians outside of our own borders. There is no other program, neither radio nor television, neither on the CBC nor elsewhere, that brings light to the international issues covered in Dispatches with the same clarity and sensitivity. I can name several radio shows that I would prefer to see cut, and I'm happy to share my thoughts should anyone at the CBC be listening to the opinions and desires of its listeners.



Ian Randall, Toronto:

In my humble opinion Dispatches has consistently produced some of the best radio on the air (and over the internet) and is the only CBC program, among many, where I've listened to every last episode over the past many years.

This program has helped me (and presumably others) to better understand the world and give some extra context beyond the headlines, but moreover present stories, both heavy and light-hearted, that would never reach the conventional headlines. Dispatches' absence in this regard will be sorely missed.

I suppose good programming that features an international perspective is expensive (and so are foreign bureaus), and also expedient for nabobs to chop. I feel impoverished already.


Pierrette Vezina, West Vancouver:

I am so sorry that Dispatches is going to be cut. I have long been a fan and consistently listen to the brilliant podcasts. The analysis and reporting has been much appreciated.

Good luck to Rick in whatever he goes on to do.

Tony Winson, Guelph

 Dear Rick

I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed listening to your program.  Something about it
clicks with me like few other CBC programs.  Of course they were going to cancel you!  Such has been the fate of most of my favorite CBC programs over the years. 

Interested to read that you covered the Iran Contra affair.  While you were doing that I was working in Nicaragua for the Sandinista agrarian reform institute, on the inside for a few months. Learned a lot about what 'freedom and democracy' American style looks like for countries that are not quite onside with American foreign policy.

 Anyway, I hope your program can be revived down the line if and when the CBC gets
the funding it needs and deserves.

Best of luck



Lisa Mitchell, Mississauga:


How can they?  Do we not get any input?  Was there no attempt to get feedback from the listeners? 

Surely inane and annoying nonsense like "the irrelevant show" could have gone first?  (the only show - in 10 years of constantly listening to CBC - that is so bad it makes me turn to commercial radio!  Even Danny Finkleman wasn't this terrible - and he was pretty bad!) 

How about the radio dramas?  Afghan-ada was great, but everything else that has come after it has been  just mediocre.  If CBC is going to give us "stories" to listen to - shouldn't they be interesting, compelling, thought provoking - TRUE stories? 

How can I help stop this?  Is there a petition?  An on-line forum? 

This is a terrible, terrible decision - surely there must be room for reconsideration.

Unless Rick has a burning desire to retire - and it was his personal recommendation that the show be cut - please, don't drop this worthwhile, interesting, iconic CBC program.

Sign me an "unhappy listener",


Murray Vetsch, Smithers, BC:

Dear Dispatches and Rick,

I just wanted to write, like I suspect so many others have, to express my great anger and sadness at the loss of such a great show.

Dispatches is by far my favourite program on the radio and I listen to a lot of interesting radio. It has been a source of so many interesting insights into the workings of other countries and cultures and is often one of the few foreign news and doc programs that shows some of the hopeful, positive and amusing things happening in the world.

Even when I lived on the other side of the world and was enjoying living and working in another culture I still downloaded and listened to Dispatches, often on some pretty sketchy all night mountainous bus trips....

I can also say that I am so very glad that I was blessed and had the chance to listen to Dispatches over these years and that when it finally does leave us it will be safely stored away in my personal CBC Hall of Fame along with past favourites such Morningside, Basic Black and Richardson's Roundup.

I'm not sure where you are off to Rick, but I wish you all the best and I really hope that I still get the chance to hear you either on CBC or a podcast of some kind. Yours, is the voice of an old friend even if you don't know it and it will be sorely missed by many of us. Thank-you for all your hard work and dedication over the years.

That being said I know that you, Rick, didn't put the show together by yourself so I want to say a really heart felt thank-you to the whole Dispatches team. We maybe don't know your names but we have all really appreciated your hard work and hope to enjoy it in the future.

Whenever I hear that iconic Mark Knopfler music in the future I will reminisce and probably annoy my kids by recounted how good Dispatches was.

It is funny but just a couple of weeks ago I was saying to my wife how I wish I had pitched a story or a piece of music at least to Dispatches when we lived in Sri Lanka but I guess now I won't get that chance.

Darren MacDonald, Vancouver:

Dispatch Dispatches? There must be some kind of misunderstanding here.

The broad ranging, in depth, and international nature of the show's reportage is not only hands down CBC's finest, but a model for the very trajectory of what is reporting in the connected world - varied and decentralized voices on and from the ground.   By virtue of this scope and structure alone, Dispatches works to dismantle the kinds of ideological redundancies that necessitate budget cuts in the first place. 

Add to this the show's actual substance (something embarrassingly absent from so much of Radio 1) and the respectful, nuanced intelligence and sense of humour that comes through with Rick MacInnes-Rae, and you've got high quality radio. Cutting the show is a major mistake.  Please do away with one (or take two) of the many shows that continually reiterate their own limited perspectives and those of their smug hosts, but continue to dispatch Dispatches.


Kim Reid,  Rosemere, PQ:

I am very upset that Dispatches is being cut. You do such an incredible job and, while I do not have the opportunity to listen at regular times, I listen to your podcasts. I fear that losing Dispatches will be a canary song for the future loss of other equally enlightening and informative programming in Canada. Is this the direction we really want to go? I hope whichever government eventually defeats the current one we have (and I hope that happens in the next election!), replaces the funding to CBC.


John G.Gibson, Judique, NS:

For a long time I have enjoyed Rick's radio show and was disappointed to learn that an axe has fallen. I could easily live without CBC television, but no radio, that is something unimaginable. In a North America which overlooks a great deal outside this continent, and fails to see wisdom in so much, I have always highly valued Dispatches. Commiserations, and well done for such a good and informative radio programme.


Ken O'Brien. St. John's, NL:

I was saddened to hear that Dispatches will be cancelled.  It is a great program and I listen regularly.  The program opens up the wider world to its listeners.

Mr. MacInnes-Rae, I hope that we will hear more for you and the other people involved in the program in future, hopefully on other CBC Radio programs.


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Dispatches cancelled: Your comments Part Six

On April 10 the CBC announced that because of budget cuts, Dispatches will go off the air at the end of this season, in June.  Here are more of your comments.


 Martin Camejo of Calgary:

I am a landed immigrant that got to Alberta 2 and a half years ago.
I have to say that the CBC contributed a lot to everything I have learned so far about Canadian life and I would like to keep learning and listening to these amazing interviews you guys have...

I have a tough time accepting that there is trade-off between money and culture and more in a first world country!

You brought me the world with every one of your programs. I don't want you to go.

Trevor Little of Toronto:

 Dear Dispatches,

I was very sad to hear that your Dispatches program was being cut from the CBC programming.  I am a big fan of the program, and I listen to the podcast regularly.  I started downloading the podcast last year, while backpacking for a year across India.  A lot of the places I stayed were pretty remote and it was hard to find internet access, but when I did I would stock up on as many Dispatches podcasts as I could.  When I would meet other travelers, we would often share podcasts, music, books, etc. and I got many other travelers hooked on your podcast. 

Dispatches is an excellent example of in depth journalism, something that is lacking these days.  I personally think this is a huge mistake by the CBC and the Canadian Government to cut it loose.


Clara Ng, Toronto:

As a long-time fan of CBC Radio, one who's so passionate that I've managed to convince others to start tuning in, I'm deeply disappointed with the Corporation's choice to cancel Dispatches. Dispatches airs intelligent and insightful content in a way that is accessible to a wide audience. The genuine approach of the producers and journalists should be a model for some of the shows that unfortunately aren't being cancelled on CBC.


Stephen Lones of New Denver, BC:

This is my first contact with CBC after 44 years of listening to CBC radio. I want to express my thanks to you for putting together such a fine show in Dispatches. The true stories from around the world are very interesting and provide background to news reports, which often are about extreme events and don't give a feel for the place.

I'm very sorry to hear about the cancellation of Dispatches. It's not the cancellation choice I would have made. We need more in-depth international reportage on CBC radio, not less.

David Christoffersen:

Good day Dispatches team,
If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny.
I just read about the loss of one of the finest radio programs Canada has produced and I'm sitting hear shocked. My partner has also just asked if "everything is going to be alright?". I'm being treated as if I've lost a pet or a treasured old book. Maybe that's the best way to describe Dispatches. A companion.
I've always enjoyed the story of "the other" and felt that Dispatches did that in the best possible way. Your stories, and the manner in which you provided them, gave insight into a world that we don't often think about. It gave time to reflect on the issues that are facing those in different places. It took moving away from Canada to appreciate how easy it is to put on the "national blinders" and spend one's finite time focusing on issues within your own backyard. Dispatches gave me a glimpse into other people's backyards.
I'll stop the mishmash of analogies now and sign off. Mission complete: you brought me the world and I thank you for it.

Kevin Judge of Lethbridge:

Dear Rick,

I've been a dedicated listener to Dispatches from the beginning, and so I was devastated to hear that it has been cancelled.  Dispatches is the best of what makes CBC Radio great: thoughtful, insightful and intelligent programming that is truly global in scope and relevance.  Your correspondents' reports have moved me to tears, caused me to bellow inchoate rage at some injustice, and whoop for joy when good people prevailed.  Issues, events and people covered by Dispatches have invariably become the focus of later discussions with family and friends.  In short, listening to Dispatches is a consciousness-raising experience every time.  Sadly, no more.  Canada and the world will be the poorer for it when Dispatches ends.  Thank you for your amazing work, you will be missed.



Charlie Smith, Vancouver, Editor of Georgia Straight

Thanks for your tremendous work over the years. You've provided a wonderful service to the country.

I was so mad about the cancellation that I wrote this rant on the Georgia Straight website:


Maureen Sherlock, Victoria:

Dear Rick and other staff,

I'm so sad that your show is being cut!!!! Dispatches is my favourite podcast, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Certainly, I gained a better perspective of the complex issues facing our world by listening to your show each week. Hopefully, the powers that be will correct their mistake and allow Dispatches to continue. Until then, I wish everyone connected to this wonderful show my condolences. and my appreciation of your work which was always interesting and informative and very professional. Thanks for all you've given me...


Stephen Baird:

     I really enjoyed the show.  I guess I heard it each week as I was putting on the final touches to Sunday dinner.  Good work!

Jason Thomson of  Ottawa:

Dear Rick,

Hours after hearing the news, I remain so disappointed and frustrated about the cancellation of the show.  Dispatches is my favourite CBC radio program and I will greatly miss listening to the weekly podcast. The topics covered are always fascinating and enlightening, and your interview style so highly professional.  What a foolish and small-minded decision.

Lissa Donner, Winnipeg MB:

Dear Rick and the Dispatches Crew,

Thank you so much for the years of great reporting.  The decision to cancel Dispatches is very unfortunate.  We need Canadians to be more knowledgeable about world affairs, and about our role in them.



David Robbins:

Dear Dispatches,

Loved your show, and I will miss it terribly. I loved the long-radio format and the dedication to featuring such diverse stories and voices, from all over the world.  Listeners could always rely on your show for thoughtful approaches to complex issues, told by people who cared about story-telling, and cared about people. Thanks for shining a light on our real world.

Sad day for the CBC. All for the Harper agenda - these cuts aren't necessary. Another hole in our cultural heart.

All the best to staff and host, Rick, who will be missed.



Irwin Block, Montreal:

I love your show and Rick's knowledgeable and compassionate hosting of it. It's cancellation cuts Canadians off from a varied and talented network of contributors who helped us understand trends and developments around the world. My world will become that much smaller.

Vinnie Krieger:

To whomever made this decision,
Wrong, wrong, wrong.  This is one of the best shows on the CBC as it informs us and keeps us Canadians looking outwards and not inwards like our American neighbours.  Looking outwards and seeing what happens in the rest of the world, and sometimes from such personal perspectives, keep us aware, empethetic and engaged.
How did this decision come about?  If you are going to cut expenses, please cut Don Cherry.  He is so offensive and I for one never watch Hockey on the CBC because of him and I love hockey but I won't risk even the chance of hearing him. 
Please stop dumbing down the CBC with shows like Wire Tap and people like Don Cherry and keep intelligent programming that will benefit EVERYONE!


Bryn Shurmer:

This show is the highlight of my week.  The best stories!  Do not go  gentle into that good night.


Gabriela Baillargeon:

Dear Rick,
I have loved listening to you and Dispatches over the years and am so disappointed and so sad to learn that it will be ending soon.... 
This is such a great loss to Canadians... It is one of the best shows to bring interesting and unique stories from around the planet to our own land and into our homes.  It has made the world a more connected and open place, where we have learned about other peoples and their lives and hence, are able to accept different cultures more readily and openly.  The world needs programs like this. 
What a shame. 
I hope the CBC might change it's mind and recognise that Dispatches was NOT the show to cut.  With such a strong influence from south of the border, this program provides an important balance in our knowledge of what is actually happening in our world.
You should be very proud, Rick, of the show you created and how you enlightened Canadians.  Take good care.  Hope to hear you again, some time soon.
With much respect,


Val & Bill Nelson, Vancouver BC:

So sorry to hear Dispatches is to be discontinued.  It's one of the best radio shows on CBC.  Rick provides a really intelligent look at what's going on around the world.  We can think of lots of other shows that should be "axed" first - like "The Debators"!
What do we have to do to protest this cut?

Anab Khan, Toronto:

So is it too late to save the show?  I've recently joined the Friends of CBC website but is there anything else that we can do?

If Toronto residents can save the High Park zoo after government cuts, can Canadians nationwide not save Dispatches??

Hanna Caplan, Toronto:

I can't believe that of all shows the CBC has decided to cut, Dispatches was chosen. What a sad and sorry state our country is in. I feel that this is an attack on Canadians' access to real information. First, cuts to the census, now this. This show has been so enlightening and is really an authentic source of stories that allow us to connect with the world. Please let us know what we can do to try to bring the show back.


Bruce Sorensen, Nanaimo, BC:


I am writing, as many no doubt have, to express my dismay, sadness and incredulity at the cancellation of Dispatches. I have been an intermittent but close listener for many years. When abroad I have often considered being a contributor as I have traveled and lived in Europe, Asia and Africa.This show has often provided me with a personal and detailed understanding of events and realities from places around the world and, not surprisingly, an accurate one reflected in impressions from my own travels.

I understand that budget cuts are necessary, and have no objection, unlike some, to those cuts also applying to the CBC, but I find the choice of this show particularly puzzling. It is true that everyone has their cherished favorites, but I have found few which offer Canadians a more in-depth understanding of other nations as this one. Surely this is more important today then it has ever been?

I have often felt a little rush of anticipation upon hearing the strains of Dire Straits coming across the ether - knowing I would shortly be treated to a street view of some distant place, the smells and sounds of one nation after another relayed by the voices of your contributors and those they meet, and the booming and confident voice of Rick MacInnes-Rae.

Rick, you and your show will be sorely missed by myself and my family.

You truly brought us the world.  I hope your voice will not disappear from the airwaves.

Thank you.

Best Regards

Gwen MacGregor, Toronto:

I am really upset that CBC has chosen to cut Dispatches. It is one of  the most international shows on the air. It offers in depth stories  that are not covered in other programs. I have been a fan of CBC radio  for many years but increasingly there has been more and more  repetition in the programming. I know CBC had to make choices with the  budget cuts, but this was not the right one.

Martin Utrosa, Windsor

As a long time listener of CBC Radio 1 I'm saddened to to learn about Dispatches being cancelled.  I thought that the show gave Canadians a chance to experience the world beyond Canada and the U.S. by covering stories that rarely make it to other media outlets.

Thank you for the excellent reporting and I hope that past shows are kept available so that others how have yet to may discover your show


Michael MacDonald, Seattle

Hi Rick,

Just sent this over the main feedback form.  Please let me know if there's any other way to help:

I urge you to please reconsider your decision to cut Dispatches from your radio repertoire.

Rick MacInnes-Rae and his correspondents provide a truly unique and valuable service to Canadians.  In-depth coverage of current events in countries that don't otherwise receive widespread media attention is imperative to maintaining the cultural sensitivity that has come to define the Canadian character.  Surely this coverage is also of interest to diverse cultural communities living in Canada that CBC Radio wants to connect with....

Thank-you for re-consideration.

Hugh Wallace:

I am very sorry to hear that dispatches has been cancelled. This was the one program I religiously listened to over the years, and found it to be one of the last truly journalistic and critically enquiring programs I could find. Not only has it always been interesting, but it has helped make me more aware of what goes on around the world. I'll be sad to lose such a great tradition.

All the best,


Alwynne B. Beaudoin,  Edmonton:

... It is truly ironic that, in an era of such great world upheaval, a show that tells us about the world should be a target for cutting. There should be more shows like "Dispatches" on the air not less!! We need to learn more about the world outside Canada, and open our minds and eyes to what is going on elsewhere.

    I feel that "Dispatches" has played an important role in educating the Canadian public about what used to be called "foreign affairs". Certainly, I feel that I have benefited from the journalistic and interviewing skills of your reporters and the host, Rick MacInnes-Rae.
I really like the way that he approaches the subject matter and the wealth of experience and knowledge that he brings to so many diverse topics. I have always especially appreciated the "in depth" approach that you have taken to people and places. This has allowed for much greater insights, especially to complex situations and events, such as
the turmoil in the Middle East, events in various African nations, and the complicated post-Cold War break-up of different European countries.

     I am sure this has been a horrible day for all the people involved in the show. It may not be much consolation at this stage, but please hold fast to the knowledge that you did a great job and that you made a difference. There are a lot of us out there in Radioland who are thinking of you and empathizing with your situation today. I hope that all members of your talented team find places elsewhere where they can continue to use their excellent journalistic skills and broadcasting talents.
     With best wishes,


Beth L Hunter of Nanaimo, BC

I can't imagine life without the wonderful, inspirational, silken voice of Rick MacInnes-Rae and his program "Dispatches" every Thursday afternoon at one, on radio One.  Rick has the most unusual and interesting international stories for us, delivered in a way that absolutely keeps the listener with an ear glued to the radio.  I scheduled my week to accommodate Rick's program.  He is such a welcome guest in my home!  Cannot tell you just how much you'll be missed, Rick - words fail me!  First Patrick Brown, now Rick MacInnes-Rae ... the CBC will be without a heart. 

The sadness has already taken over my being.  Thank you, Rick, from the bottom of my heart.  Your program meant so much to me, and, over the years, taught all of us much humility and compassion.  I can only hope that you will surface somewhere else where the employer will appreciate integrity.  Also, that I will learn of where you have gone so that I can pick up where you left off.  CBC, shame on you!  As a tax-payer, I can only add that you are letting us down.  This blow is an outrage and really, really hurts! 

Gordon McNickle, currently and temporarily, Chicago, IL (Formerly of Regina, SK - just so the senate doesn't get upset about "foreign influence".


Dear Rick and the Dispatches team:

...Dispatches is one of my favourite shows on the CBC. I have always loved the diversity of stories from heart warming, to shocking to just plain interesting.  Dispatches not only brought me the world, but it brought me interesting pockets of the world that I would never hear about from any other source.  Since moving to the US I have had to go from listening to CBC radio nearly all day long, to listening to a handful of podcasts each week when I have time.  Dispatches was always, and remains, one of the few shows I never miss.  I will surely miss Dispatches come summer.  Sunday nights will not feel the same without you.


Julie Bruck, San Francisco:

To Rick MacInnes-Rae and his team:

 As a Canadian living in the U.S, who listens to you on PRI, I am always impressed at the depth of coverage in your stories--a depth which has become all too rare, and reminds us of what Canadian/CBC broadcast journalism is...or was.

I hope the CBC will reconsider this wrong-headed decision!

All best,


Laura Byrne Paquet, Cornerstone Word Company:

Dear Rick and everyone at Dispatches,

I am SO sorry that Dispatches has been cancelled. It is one of my favourite programs on all of CBC, and I've recommended it to so many people. I've even blogged about it! I listen to it faithfully--via podcast, most weeks--and it has taught me so much about the world. Maybe you can take a lead from Search Engine and move the show to TVOntario? Probably not feasible. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for all the fantastic shows over the years. I'm distraught that this great window on the world for Canadians is going to be closed.


Marny Gibson, Toronto:

 Dear Rick and Team,

I was shocked to hear that your show has been cancelled.  Every week I look forward to hearing that Dire Straits theme, knowing that what follows is an extraordinary trip around the world.  The stories you have aired over the years have provided a much-needed balance to the sound-bites we get on the news and have reminded all your listeners of our shared humanity. The loss of your show is a loss for Canada.  I wish you all the very best in whatever you choose to do in the future.  Thank you!


Ruth Brouwer, Toronto:

I am saddened and discouraged by the cancellation of Dispatches.  As someone interested in international development issues, I especially valued reports on/from the global South, which typically combined humanity with good journalism.  I never found it boring if I happened to catch an episode playing on CBC for a second time (e.g., a recent show that dealt with diverse uses of mosquito nets by farming and fishing families).  Cancelling this show seems like a very sad parallel to the government's sharp cuts to the aid agency.  Can't this decision be reconsidered?


Heather Gordon, St. Catharines, ON:

I am very disappointed to hear that Dispatches has been cancelled.  It was my MUST listen-to program on the CBC - I listened because it was thought-provoking, educational, and covered interesting international issues not addressed elsewhere.

Cathy White, Portugal Cove, NFLD:

How dare CBC run the promo CANADA LIVES HERE and then, with no public consultation, axe an excellent show like "Dispatches".
Rick, I enjoy your show so much - because it informs me about little known news happening around the world - often news which never makes a national or regional news cast. I have admired you as a journalist since first meeting you in our television news room during the early 1980's in St. John's.
I have been retired due to illness for almost 12 years.  CBC radio is my constant companion....

I have sent the following commentary to our regional (NL) drive home show "On the Go".  I used to host this show in the early 90's and they still air my occasional (free) commentary.
I dare say they will air this one (excerpt):
 "Next to the maple leaf, our publicly-funded broadcaster has always
been a loved symbol of "what is right" about my country.
CBC has also been a daily companion in my life.
The bad new is -  radio programs like "The Debators"
and "Dispatches" will be axed by CBC's senior mangement.
I love these shows!
Will our Regional "Radio Noon" program be the next to go?
...My message to CBC executioners is:
"Don't mess with my life; not without asking me first

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Dispatches cancelled. Your comments Part Five

Because of budget cuts to the CBC, Dispatches will go off the air in June.  Here are some more of your comments:


Craig Campbell of Austin, Texas:

I've been listening to Dispatches from Austin, Texas for the last few years and I cannot express my disappointment on hearing the news of cancelation. This is a great loss to Canada and the rest of the English speaking world who might've had the pleasure of tuning in. I'm really speechless. Thank you to Rick MacInnes-Rae and all the other dedicated techs and reporters who've worked to make some of the best radio I've had the pleasure of listening to.

Trina Bottos:  

I feel really badly that Dispatches is being cancelled and I regret that I never contacted the host Rick MacInnes-Rae to tell him how much I've appreciated his eclectic taste in the stories presented and the window on the world that Dispatches provided. I have been a CBC listener and fan almost my whole life and as someone who has lived in Northern Ontario for most of my life I need to be connected to the larger world. I feel that the various radio personalities I've "met" through listening are an appreciated part of my life and I really miss them when they're gone. I resent that I often don't have any preparation for their leaving and have no opportunity to say good-bye or to thank them for the very real contribution they have made through their broadcasts. Rick, I will miss you and Dispatches. Thank-you! Blessings on your future.

Paddy Quinn of Miramichi, NB:

Rick and Crew,

So sorry to hear of your impending cancellation. Your program will be missed One can understand cutbacks in these difficult times, but I question this one. The journalistic excellence of your program will be greatly missed and I feel for you all. Here's hoping for better days ahead.

Warm Regards

Barry Mercer of Sudbury, Ontario:

Just heard the news the show is a victim of budget cuts.  That is not good to hear.  The threat of cuts always lingers over the Corps of course, but it's never fun when your program or your location is named outright  Dispatches was a favourite of mine.  Well done, great stories, an experienced host. I wish you well.

Allan O:

Dear Mr. MacInnes-Rae,

I heard the news today that Dispatches will be cancelled due to budget cuts. How strange of the CBC to cut the great work of foreign correspondents who are at times the only ones willing to report on the struggles faced by the oppressed on their behalf.

Funny though, how all these budget cuts will only be pissed away on planes (with no final price tags), leaky submarines (that neither dive nor fire our torpedoes) and who knows how many flights to remote fishing lodges.

While pondering on the direction of the CBC, I seem to lack the optimism of our Defence Minister for the future of the F-35s.

Thank you so very much for bringing us the lives and struggles of those who fight to truly make a difference in Our World.

With warm remembrance.

Quinn Kuiken of Alberta:


Sorry to hear you go. I guess the Conservatives figure radio isn't enough to bring us the world. Perhaps Peter MacKay will give us all a round-the-world tour in a brand new F-35, sometime a decade from now. Heck, those things can even refuel in the air!

Maria Borys of Ottawa:


Please don't cancel this show which is one of the best at CBC. Feel free to cancel Strombolopolous, "Q" and "Day 6" anytime, there are plenty of those types of shows on the other commercial radiostations, but Dispatches is unique, intelligent and really brings a much needed perspective to all Canadians. It is short-sighted to cancel this show and it will leave a void that can not be filled.

Thank you.

Carolanne Reynolds of West Vancouver, BC:


Say it ain't so!

Dispatches and the Debaters are two of my favourite shows/progs!
How can we let the admin know we don't want it cancelled???

Petition? Email? To whom?

Sharon McNeil of Etobicoke, ON:

I was saddened when I heard that Dispatches has been cancelled. It informs my family about parts of the world which are often ignored. I've listened to you in taxis because the drivers say you keep  them informed about Africa,  as well as other countries in other continents.  Where will we turn once you're gone?  Why would they silence such a wonderful show when is so much fluff on the radio and tv today.  My eyes are swelled with tears because of the loss of my window on the world. You will be missed

Virginia McGowan of Charlottetown, PEI:


Dear Rick,

I heard today that Dispatches, my favourite CBC Radio show, may be cancelled Please don't let that rumour be true! It's an amazing show that takes us, through real stories brilliantly told, to the far reaches of the earth and also to our own backyards. I've learned so much and look forward to each broadcast. I even listen to the re-broadcasts, as the stories are as riveting in repetition as they were in the original.

Everyone who knows about the show loves it. So please please please don't cancel Dispatches. I can think of a number of CBC Radio shows that should go before this one. I hope that the rumour of its demise is grossly exaggerated.

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