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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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