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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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