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Dispatches cancelled: your comments, our thanks

CBC announced Tuesday afternoon that Dispatches will be cancelled at the end of this season.  As the news spread, there was a wave of reponse on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.  And there have been many comments emailed to us  

We offer a selection of your emails here:


Francie Cochran of Courtenay, BC:

Dear Rick,

I have always admired Dispatches for it's interesting and valuable programs; interesting from the background perspective and valuable because it is international in scope. I have heard BBC programs of a similar nature but not with the same depth.   As host, you have brought both sensitivity and professionalism to stories that are too rarely heard.  I am appalled to learn just now that the budget cuts have now cut Dispatches.  This will not be the last letter that I write about this dreadful decision. 

Wishing you and your family strength,
Francie Cochran
Courtenay, B.C.


Zoe Rodocanachi of Tofino, BC:

I am shocked and already mourning the loss of your excellent program. What incredible irony.   Harper's Dark Ages have just started to engage full throttle....
If you and your crew ever decide to come to Tofino for a visit, I have a vacation rental house across the road from a beautiful beach, and I would love to accommodate you for free for a few days. I am so incredibly sad about this news, and can't even begin to imagine how you must feel. 
Highest Regards


Mary Rosebrugh of  Ottawa:

I'm horrified at today's news that Dispatches is to be cut. It is a superb program which "brings us the world". I'm sorry that I've only been listening to it for about 6 years.This program is one that is so current, so topical, so informative, so educational...such perfect background for comprehension of world events. I won't "go political" but I could...
I hope that there is enough outrage to turn this around. In the meantime, thank you to the Dispatches team for an excellent product. My MP isn't going to know what hit his inbox. It's not over til it's over.

Philip Kahn of  Toronto:

I'm very disappointed to hear that 'Dispatches' is being axed. It's one of the best programs on CBC Radio; I would like to hear more of this type of production, certainly not less. What is the basis of this decision? Sympathy and best wishes to all who work on this program.


Kate Murphy of Toronto:

Dispatches is one of my radio shows of choice, because it is one of the few ways I have to step outside my country's borders and hear what's going on elsewhere in the world, most often in the voice of someone either from or at least very familiar with the area in question. I appreciate very much hearing a different perspective than my own Canadian/North American view. There are many things that happen around the world that are not broadcast on the evening news, and this is a very valuable window into some of them. How can we possibly know what to support and protect on our small planet without information and knowledge? How can we understand and evaluate our country's role on the world stage if we don't have any acquaintance with the context? I am saddened by the imminent departure of Dispatches, and we Canadians are all much poorer because of this cut.


Des McMurchy of Sointula, BC:

I wrote to the PM as soon as I heard. I copy you below. Great show! Des

 Mr. Harper,

 I write to congratulate you on your excellent, ongoing work in dismantling the caring, Canadian society and the economic prosperity for all that we had succeeded in building in my lifetime.

 I heard just now on the CBC radio noon news - one of our only information lifelines in this remote coastal community in BC - that your government will be cutting the regular CBC radio news program Dispatches, among other cuts necessitated by the ideologically extreme, pro-cyclical austerity budget that you've contemptuously foisted on the 60% of Canadians who voted for another party.

 You may take people for fools, Harper, but the vast majority of Canadians like me understand what you're up to. In a libertarian bid to starve the government to death, you've now cut corporate taxes to ridiculous lows that are out of line even with the practice in other leading neoliberal states like the USA or UK, and senseless tax concessions to profitable enterprises continue. This is money that should be put to work serving the needs of the people of Canada.

 The billions of dollars that you are plundering in this way from our national coffers to give away to the richest Canadians are no longer there to build the hospitals, urban transit, libraries, housing, and schools that any prosperous nation provides for its citizens as a matter of course, and to foster a general climate of in-sourced industrial prosperity providing green jobs in Canada for all Canadians.

 The vast majority of Canadians know what you're up to, Harper. And they don't like it one bit. And then acting as if you had received some kind of mandate from Canadians in the last election adds insult to injury. Are you arithmetic-challenged in addition to your other many failings?

 Don't count on everyone forbearing politely for years to come, as you deliberately immiserate them and undermine national institutions that it has taken lifetimes to build. The reckoning will be no doubt be sudden and unexpected, should you stubbornly persist in your contempt for the people of this country.

 In horror at your god-deluded, psychotic policies, I remain one of the 60% and one of your most devoted enemies,



I have just read on cbc.ca/news that dispatches is to be cancelled.  I am so sad to hear this.  I, and young adult members of my immediate family, am an avid listener who also subscribes to your podcasts so that I don't miss anything.

Disptaches achieves its mandate every episode - bringing the world to Canadians.  We become better world citizens by being informed and this program is a vital part of that information gathering.  I know of so many young adults who are regular followers of the program - adults who want to be informed about world issues beyond the tine pieces or sporadic information that is available at most news sources.

Is there not some way to save the program?

This is valuable listening material - information not available elsewhere that brings a world view to all Canadians.

Is it possible to reduce costs and keep the program on tha air?

Please let me know how I can help to save the program.


Vincent Calderhead of Halifax:

 Dear Rick;

With today's headline I am sickened. We only 'met' once; you were doing a talk at the Halifax Public Library about the War in Iraq and the role that the media played/failed to play. I recall taking a minute with you after that talk to tell you, that as a lifelong CBC listener, I actually enjoyed your program more than any other. It is still the case. When I listen to Dispatches, I knew that I would learn something about the world--there are distressingly few programs that I can say that about. We are in a more cruel , more shallow age and it is terrible. All the Best to you! 


Robert Puckrin of Quebec, QC:

Hello, Dispatches,

I was so sad to hear the news today - CBC Radio and Canada itself will be that much poorer without your engaging and intelligent look upon the world each week. I am a 22 year old listener and have been enjoying and benefiting from your program for years - thank you so much for your hard work and stories, and for making me feel connected and informed about what's happening in our world.

You will be missed terribly,


Julie Zatzman of Oshawa:

I knew it would happen some time, but I hoped against hope. In fact, I was surprised Dispatches lasted this long. It was just too good: fresh, broad, and with no preset agenda.

As a former journalist, I have long thought Dispatches is radio of the highest quality - slices of real life from around the world that tell us more about life on the ground than all the newscasts combined.

Thank-you for an excellent show. I only hope the Dispatches team can find another forum for its unique offering.


Callie Archer of Burlington, Ont:

Dispatches is of my of my favourite programmes. I can't imagine reverting to watching 60 Minutes as I prefer your programme. Please ensure Harper and cabinet have listened to a segment so they can butcher something more suitable, like a seal or the new cross-border shipping changes. CBC should not be touched.


Kate Watkiss of Mississauga:

I think this is a real shame and will be very sorry to lose your human stories and the depth of your insight- I wish there was something we could do to support this great show that brings the world to us in such a wonderful way.
A great great loss!


Ludwika remarks:

Hi!  The fact that dispatches is ending due to budget cuts is a travesty.  The CBC is one of the only places in Canadian media where one can get a taste of what is happening outside our country (not including the U.S).  I am very disappointed in this, and hope that the program can be re-instated very soon. 
With thanks,


Cla Craig of Victoria, BC:

I am disheartened to learn that Dispatches will be dumped from the CBC radio lineup.  It is a terrific program.  I have been lucky to have many guests from all over the world visit me, and I introduce them to the program, with the result that they always try to listen to it wherever they live or travel. 
I wonder if Dispatches is being discontinued because much of its content is uncomfortable and disturbing.  Isn't that what journalism is supposed to do?  Make us uncomfortable?  Disturb us...make us think?
This is a regrettable decision and i wonder why of the many programs on CBC radio, this particular program was selected to chop.

Patti Brighten of Ottawa:

Dear Rick,

I am dreadfully sorry to learn about the cancellation of Dispatches. Whenever I happened to catch it on the radio, I learned something interesting and your approach was always erudite. Less of the world is now available to me with its loss. I wish you well.

Deirdre Tomkins of Winnipeg:
I wanted to thank you for the fascinating, informative journalism you have provided, and to express my dismay that Dispatches is falling to the funding cuts. I have enjoyed this program for years - the warmth and humble brilliance of the host is palpable across the air waves - and I will miss it so. I hope we continue to hear Rick in some other programming. Best to you.


Carrie-May Siggins of Regina:

 Dear Dispatches,

Your show helped me feel connected to the world, and the quality storytelling on it was always insightful, engaging and informative. I really value what you guys have produced- it expanded my worldview and helped teach me how to tell a story. I'm sorry you guys are wrapping up in June. You'll be sorely missed.

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