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Dispatches cancelled, your comments Part 13

This first part of Your Dispatches is a selection from the hundreds of emails we received since the final broadcast of Dispatches went to air on June 21/24.  Below this are 12 more selections, from the hundreds of emails listeners sent earlier, after hearing the news that CBC was cancelling Dispatches because of budget cutbacks.  Read on. You will find you are among good company as a member of the Dispatches audience. Thank you.

Add your own message 


Bonnie Tinker, Teulon, MB:

Tonight I was driving back from the lake with my three children in the car.  My daughter (5) wanted to listen to an audio CD, but instead when I turned on the radio, I realized it was the last episode of dispatches, so I insisted we listen to the program.  It made me feel sad to think it is the last show, as I love all the stories from around the world that the correspondents bring to us back here in Canada.  At the end of the program, my son (7) said he loved the show and when could we listen to it again.  I felt very sad when I had to explain that we were listening to the last show. 

Thanks for all the amazing stories that you have told and all the wonderful sounds brought to air, that combined to bring the stories of the world into my home. 


Kimberly Boivin, London, Ontario:

To all at Dispatches,
Yesterday I felt a great sadness when I realized that I will not be able to listen to you on Sundays. I have been listening to this show since I was 13 (I am now 23) and even continued to listen every week when I was living in the states for a few years.
I have grown up with your stories and it is hard to believe that you will not be on air. Of all the shows on CBC, I do my best to catch every episode. Your documentaries were touching and gave every event a face to relate to. It was a different outlook on culture and society.
 If I could do anything to keep you on air I would in a heart beat. It is sad that CBC believes this is the best way to react to the cut of funding...
All the best

Mary Rosebrugh, Ottawa:

Dear Rick and All,
Thank you for such a wonderful final program--even though I'm in tears as I write. The class act that the show was never faltered.
CBC Radio is "smaller" for having made this atrocious decision. Believe me, I wrote and wrote--to blind eyes all around.
My very best wishes to all of you and THANK YOU for the wonderful years of Dispatches.


Monica Winkler, Toronto:

 I am actually crying as I sit here at work and listen to the last episode of Dispatches.  This is the worst decision CBC has ever made.  It sucks so badly that we will not hear this program again.

Madeleine Nelson, Vancouver:

Rick, my eyes filled with tears standing at the kitchen sink this evening hearing you and some of your correspondents saying goodbye. This is only the second time I have written to the cbc and it's sad the occasion is the cancellation of your fine programme.
I am the widow of Ron Basford who was a minister of justice in Pierre Trudeau's government. Dispatches was one of his favourite cbc offerings and when I hear you, I always think of him.
I miss him and will miss you. Thank you so much for enriching my life. All the very best in your next chapter.

Cynthia Menyhart, Guelph Ontario:

For more than a decade I've enjoyed the thought-provoking insight brought into my home by Rick MacInnes-Rae and the Dispatches correspondents. You were able to so skilfully tell a story. You were more than journalists. You were anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, historians and engaging speakers.
Listening to Dispatches Sunday evenings was a precious time for me. A time when my family gathered together for dinner prepared by my father, a retired chef. As I happily helped him in the kitchen, Dispatches took us around the world, sparking some of our best conversations. My father passed away two years ago. I continued to listen to Dispatches and wondered about what he'd have to say about the latest story.
Thank you Rick for connecting me to the world, and continuing to connect me to my dear father. You will be sadly missed.

Idzva T.K. of Ottawa via Harare, Zimbabwe:

I am so disheartened to learn of the cancellation of this important show. I listened to the last Dispatches episode on the bus, feeling utterly despondent...and when Rick said goodbye without the usual episode ending phrase "We'll bring you the world", I my eyes welled up.Your show was the only one on the CBC that consistently broadcasted stories about Zimbabwe and this meant a lot to me. I have learned so much from your show and will miss it terribly.


Thomas Bator, Quebec:

I was behind in my ever acumulating podcasts so just heard June 21 will be the last show. Don't believe I missed an episode since podcasts began. I especially remember Dispatches saving me from depression over the loss of Lister Sinclair and feeling CBC going down the tube. Then soon after discovered your show and CBC redeemed itself. This is such a senseless budget cut considering what Dispatches offers. A truly original insight, slice of life and situations in troubled places that do not contain dramatically, newsworthy stories and therefore not covered anywhere else. Snippets of stories definitely worth exposing and informing the public of. I consider myself a worldly traveler but these stories are not available to surface skimming tourists.


David Arminas, In London, United Kingdom:

As a regular listener, can I assume that CBC senior management is replacing the original reporting by Dispatches with original reporting in some other fashion and won't be buying in programmes from agencies? In other words, will it be Canadians be reporting on the world?


Tanya Lewis, Vancouver:

Dear Team Dispatches:

I was so shocked when I heard about your cancellation that I yelled into my empty kitchen, "No Way!"  You have provided excellent journalism, and are one of the reasons I have been a devoted CBC listener for all of my adult life  I am appalled that our government can find billions of dollars for military status symbols (but not for individual soldiers and veterans), but won't toss our core cultural institution the pittance it requires to provide citizens with an intelligent, objective view of the world and our place in it.

Francis Daulby, Coldwater, Ontario:

 It's over, our love affair with Dispatches and the truth of connection to the human spirit.  The Corporation has won and I hate them for it, left with sadness and anger. I can't believe it, tears not for you, but for me, miserable  me, who seldom wrote to thank you. OMG I am so very angry.

It's not good to be this angry.


Jean Galt, Toronto:

I was so sorry to hear that Dispatches is being cut. I just discovered it and was so impressed that I could hear so much real information from people on the front lines. It is the way news should be without the editorializing and sensationalizing that goes on with some commercial stations. Is there not some way to continue it or incorporate it into another news background program?


Allan Safarik, Dundurn Sk:

Really sad to hear that Dispatches will be shut down. An interesting far reaching program that was among the best programs ever offered by the CBC. It certainly kept me listening and I for one am disappointed at its demise. Just the kind of innovative internation programming that for me keeps the CBC relevant.


Sue Ruddick, Toronto:

Bring back Dispatches -- this is such a travesty!  We need these kind of programs or we risk becoming ostriches with our heads in the sand.

Linda Reynolds:

This was such an educational programme.  We learned about struggles  in the world that otherwise would never have hit the news.  Who will tell their stories now?  You will be missed.


Sandra Hughes-Pettey, Toronto:

Thank you Rick MacInnes-Rae and colleques for " showing ME the world " . My dream as as a Nurse practitoioner was always to travel abroad and inflict "my skills " on the developing world. Thankfully for all,  I was convinced there  were pressing matters on the home front that better suited my talents and I became involved with homeless and  underhoused youth in Toronto  from 1992 - 2011 . The love of my  work life ," Shout Clinic "closed its doors last March.  Hearing  Rick say goodbye tonight made me weep . I realize now that I did get to go "around the world , "and still stay in Toronto and do the work that I was much better suited to do. 
Thanks for improving my practice in so many ways . Your window on the world helped me to be more compassionate and understanding about the struggles and issues facing newcomers to Canada. You made me a better clinician in ways no International Health Program ( which I completed ) ever could.

Mary Dyson, Warkworth, Ontario/ Puerto Escondido, Mexico:

Dear Rick,
I want you to know that I have always thoroughly enjoyed your show and have been known to listen to repeats as well. You do bring the world to our ears and with a fresh immediacy. I am truly going to miss you.

I am writing my MP, but have very little hope of having my voice taken seriously. Regardless i will not give up hope that you will return one day.

Bill Lee, Sudbury:

Thank you for the enlightening radio you have created over the years. You will be missed.


Marilyn Brown, Ottawa:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the enlightening window on the world over the years. For the intelligent, in-depth approach, for the calm, professional and humane attitude that infused the program. This kind of broadcast encourages citizens to think and to feel part of a global community, and it is precisely a community of thinking citizens that authoritarian régimes seek to destroy, in the case of CBC, program by program. What next, Radio Free Canada?
All my best wishes for continuing success and good work elsewhere by Rick MacInnes-Rae and all the team.


Jimmy Rousseau, Blue Sea Lake, Quebec:

Disgusted is how I feel,our government is trying to turn this country into a backwater of conservative ignorance and a field ripe for corporate raiding. By eliminating independent publicly funded sources of information they ensure that their misinformation will reign unchecked. Thank You to all the dispatches team for years of interesting shows, the cancellation of which is truly a travesty.

Louise Lavigne:

Dear Rick,

I never thought I could be so sad over the cancellation of a radio program. I am in my mid twenties and I have been listening to your show for many years. I can't count the number of times I've felt shivers run down my spin from a particularly powerful story from some corner of the world I had not yet discovered. Your show was a light on the world from my own home. When I did finally find my way out of Canada and to other continents I streamed Dispatches or downloaded the podcast to listen to at night or on the road. Can't imagine the CBC without this program. Thanks to you and all of your contributors. I will miss Dispatches very much.


Francis Daulby, Coldwater, Ont:

Rick: I can't believe they are cancelling your program.  Yours is one, if not the best, CBC has to offer.  Your voice open and honest, rich and trusting. I am so everything, sad and mad.  Angry with CBC.  I don't watch TV. so cancel that format.  Saying your name means listening to a trusted friend.  I can hear you now and my radio is off.  "For Dispatches," for you, with respect and thanks over all the chatter that annoys, yours is the voice of radio, a voice I will always remember.
Man hugs

Miria Cook, Oakville, Ontario:

To Rick, the Correspondents/Contributors and Producers of Dispatches congratulations in having created, contributed to and maintained exceptionally brilliant, insightful and intelligent - just superb quality radio programming. I wish you all well in new endeavours, if this decision cannot be reversed. You really do "bring us the world".... and please know that your contribution to raising our awareness and enlightening us over the years has been profound....

To the Executives at the CBC that took the idiotic decision to axe Dispatches, shame on you for destroying one of the best programmes on the CBC radio. The dumbing down of the MotherCorp continues............when Dispatches goes off the air, it's just one less reason to keep listening.....

Bill Osborne, Lynden ON: 

The cancellation of Dispatches eliminates an exciting, relevant "window to the world" from the CBC schedule.

A great radio programme!

I am so sad.


Kathleen Mtichell, Ottawa:

I can't believe that the final episode of Dispatches will be airing this afternoon. I have so enjoyed listening to it. It has given me a window to the world that would not, otherwise, be available. This is a sad day for the CBC and for all of us who treasure the excellent programming that Rick MacInnes-Rae and his team have provided.


Sylvia Hall, Toronto:

Surely the CBC could have squeezed enough funds in bits and pieces from its several programs that interview expensive and insipid "celebrities"..interviews that tell us nothing of significance. Dispatches did truly give us a "window on the world" which I find less and less in CBC programs.  This is yet another slide on the CBC's long and slippery slope from a broadcaster of substance to a broadcaster of trivia.

Angela Long, Ohtaki, Hokkaido:

Good Morning,

It was a shock to learn that I am listening to your last program right now. I listen from a small town on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. I've listened to Dispatches for many years and from many places--from tree planting camps to Montreal apartments to off-the-grid cabins. Many of these places have been lonely places--but Dispatches always changed that. Every episode brought a tear to my eye and made me feel as though I was part of something much bigger than myself. 

I don't know why funding has been cut and by whom--I hope they understand they are cutting more than just a program. They are cutting off the rest of us out here in the world-at-large from a trusted friend. Regardless, thank you all those responsible for so many years of enlightening and high-quality journalism.


Caroline Clarke, St. John's:

Hi there,

I just wanted to say how sorry I am that today is the last show.  For me, Dispatches was what CBC was all about - quality reporting on world news with in-depth stories - not the usual stuff that news is made of these days.  Dispatches is actually one of the few afternoon radio shows on CBC that I don't turn off, and I really can't understand why CBC would decide to cut this top-of-the-line program.  The stories dealt with all kinds of topics - some very difficult, but in a manner that was enlightening rather than just done in a way to be an emotional rollercoaster.

What a terrific job everybody did on this show and hopefully somebody will reverse this decision - or at least let you all continue to do the good work you do in another capacity.


Jim Payne,  St. John's, NL:

I'm sitting here listening to the last episode of Dispatches in absolute disbelief that you would cancel this program, one of the best on the network, and in a format in which the CBC excels. To cancel programming like this which can be found nowhere else on the radio dial, in favour of maintaining lightweight, mindless, Toronto-centric entertainment gossip and the like which can be found everywhere else on radio and TV, does a disservice to your listeners and avid CBC supporters.

This is what you do best. Why throw out unique and credible programming that demonstrates such integrity while keeping the most mediocre of your content on air? My congratulations and best wishes to Rick MacInnes-Rae and the rest of the Dispatches crew, with hopes that the CBC can find another role for such competent and committed people. But I implore you; please don't use the cutback mantra to get rid of your best people as well as your best programming.


David Williams, Halifax:

I can't stand it that you have been cut. Your program is what radio is all about , you let me experience the world.  
I wish you could continue on PBS if no where else . Can you be supported by doing the program on the web? No? Damn


Lynn de Freitas, Halifax:

How CBC could decide to cut a show which tells us more about what is occurring everywhere in  the world than we ever hear on CBC News or the National is truly beyond my comprehension.   With this show, we have been able to hear stories in depth on a wide variety of topics and conditions in the world.
CBC seem to feel that we are only interested in hearing local topics and interviews with barely known celebrities as well as other trivia.
Dispatches was in my opinion a "not to be missed " show. What a shame.


 Laurie Dempster, Torbay, NL:

Dear Dispatches,
As a long time listener and admirer of the program I am listening to Rick signing off the last show. I can only say how sad I am right now, and so disappointed in the CBC people who made the decission to cancel this show over other programs.

This progam is far and above so many that have avoided the cuts, so superior in production and content and relevance...

Sadly, It seems CBC execs have fallen for the Harperites propaganda on budgets and defecits. I believe our country still needs public broadcasting of the quality and coverage that Dispatches provided.  Canadians still need radio, tv can't provide what radio does, the power to transport the listener to anywhere in the world, no cameras required and the end result is so much more valuable.

What will replace it, or are we stuck with a couple of minutes of international news per day ?


Cathy Daigle, Miramichi:

Hello Rick ...
Very sorry to hear the CBC has cut one of the very best programs on the air.  Your program is a very interesting and entertaining  and it does give me a "window on the world."  The stories, the reporters and your voice and skills have all made my listening a "must" 


David Hart Dyke, Stoney Creek:

More than any other show in any news medium, yours has helped to illuminate corners of the world I would never otherwise know about.  This is a very sad day.

Thank you for many years of great work.


Don and Cerrisse Brundage, Tiny, Ont.:

Thanks, Rick and team for the excellent programming over the last 12 yrs.

Always delightfully informative and we often listen to "Dispatches" twice in a wk., especially if there is something that really catches our interest.

In today's world it is more and more important to understand other cultures and countries and you have done that in spades.


 Karen Soltan, Peterborough:

I have enjoyed and been informed by Dispatches for years and am very sad to see it go. I've learned more about what is important in the world through your program than through the hourly news which I feel has been dumbed down over the past few years and sensationalizes crime and the "double death and fire" style of reporting. In my opinion, CBC would have done better to get rid of the hourly newscasts and kept Dispatches. Thank you and you will be missed.

Alison Hall, Dorval, Quebec:

I'm just listening to the Thursday afternoon re-broadcast of your show. I am VERY disappointed to learn that your show has been cut. This show is one of the best things on CBC radio. It is a REAL shame. Thank you for 12 years of stories that one just can't get anywhere else. I trust the podcast archive will continue to be available.


Christine de Groot, Toronto:

 I am so sad that the last program is on the air.  It has been very hard to listen these last few weeks.  i would like to congratulate everyone involved for the excellent quality of the programs and for opening a window on a world other than this continent.


Maria Thorburn, Toronto:

I've never written to you before but have listened to so many of your episodes including today.  I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear that this is your last show.  I remember going to visit some very rural people while I am very urban, living in Toronto and I was worried about having anything to say to one another since they are very conservative and I am not.  I just happened  to mention one of your shows and he immediately smiled and piped up with "I love that show!  I listen to it while I'm plowing the fields"  It was our conversation opener that helped us form a lasting friendship even though we have some very different values at times. 

I am truly very grateful to have heard your programme and feel so sad that we're making a very bad mistake in cancelling this excellent programme.  Whether plowing fields or working in Toronto you appeal to us all so thank you all for your great work!


Kathy Milne, Pemberton,BC:

A very short-sighted decision made by ?
A superb program that brought international unique stories of life to my attention and more importantly, a new perspective on other's lives. I enjoyed the diversity, never knowing what kind of story I was about to hear.


Stephen Bates, Wellington, NS:

Rick and crew,
I just listened to your last broadcast of Dispatches, and shed more than a few tears!  I recognized a number of the snippets you aired, because I've been a faithful listener for years.  I've always appreciated that the program has been able to provide in-depth stories about happenings (some serious, others not that serious, but funny and informative) from countries all over the world.  I'm a world traveller, and have visited, or lived in, some of the countries on your show.

You'll be sorely missed, but at least you should know that you've made a big impact on your listeners, especially this one!  You and your team have left a great legacy.  Be proud of what you have accomplished during all these years.  Take care.

Louise Jarvis, Owen Sound:

I have tears blurring my eyes while I listen to your last episode.
There goes another of CBC's  finest contributions to humanity...


Laura McCaffrey, Montreal:

I'm really going to miss Dispatches - an anchor in our radio-listening schedule. Truly the best show on radio. Brilliantly reported, informative, eye-opening and heartbreaking. Rick, thank you for coming into our home these last 11 years and giving us a dose of reality. You're a part of our family and will be greatly missed.

Bruce Parkinson:

I am so angry right now...and so sad. I have thoroughly enjoyed and been so enriched by your program over the years. Not to mention that Rick has an unbelievable radio voice. The dumbing-down of our society continues apace and I'm frightened for my children. I live in Peterborough, Ontario, home of MP Dean Del Mastro, one of the unabashed leaders of the ignorance movement.


Ray Van Dusen, Montreal:

Hello Dispatchers

So hard to believe that the number crunchers decided to still this incredible voice in broadcast journalism. I always enjoyed your show... riveted by your top level documentary storytelling. I learned a whole lot about our world and about how  journalism is done at its best. I learned about the voices and minds of many journalists that I surely came to appreciate over the years, no one moreso than Rick himself (who I was already a fan of from other CBC broadcasts). Rick, your eloquence, your intelligence, your enquiring & incisive mind, and even your voice for god's sake! I've truly and honestly enjoyed your presence in my life from my beloved CBC Radio these many years.

Harry Beach, Cornwall:

Thanks to the whole team for the excellent radio you have treated me to over the years.
Dispatches was the best show on CBC radio. It is a bad decision to end it.

Dispatched  brought the otherwise impossible to visit parts of the world to the Canadian listener. It helped me understand the world and the issues faced by the people there. I looked forward to it every week and can not see anything coming close to filling its space it leaves behind. Thanks for such a great show over the past years.

 Mike Finch, St George:

Thanks for a show that no longer has a place on a radio service that has lost its way.  Taking your show which was an opportunity to look outside canada out of the CBC lineup makes a huge statement about the direction the corp is taking. Ideas will probably be next.

Thanks for your courage and dedication.

Chris Winsor, Toronto:

Congratulations on producing one of the finest long-form radio documentary shows available anywhere. I can not express enough my profound disappointment that the show is ending and that the CBC executive has chosen to cut this program. It is emblamatic of the problem with the ratings-chasing, pop culture -obsessed approach to managing our public broadcaster. That shows of this quality, and not-to-be-heard-elsewhere variety have no champions in the C-suite is appalling. CBC news is already moving toward dangerously simplistic infotainment. Dispatches was a necessary antidote.  If the corp no longer wishes to be in the quality insight business as evidenced by the killing this program, then I suggest it return a significant portion of the parliamentary appropriation.

Jan Hopkins, Carleton Place:

I'm listening to your last program, and thinking about how much I will miss you!  Since my retirement, I've been able to listen to CBC's afternoon radio programming, of which you were an important part. You brought stories that didn't make the daily news, and that did bring me a better sense of the world. Best wishes to everyone associated with the program.


Axel Stammler, teacher, Berlin, Germany:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am still stunned that the latest casualty of senseless monetarist cuts is one of my all-time favourites and a flagship programme not only for the CBC but for Canada. What is urgently needed is a U-turn from machine-like money worship to a worship of humanity in both meanings of the word. We need international legislation to utilize profits in areas like medicine, education and culture. Here in Germany I have to pay a licence fee for radio and TV I nearly never use. Why can I not ask this money to be sent to the stations I really listen to, i.e. the CBC and the BBC? Now Dispatches, a constant source of insight and culture, is gone and the world is poorer for it.


Maryan O'Hagan, Ottawa:

Just listening to your sign off of your last episode - and so sad in the final music not to hear Rick say "we bring you the world".  Thank you so much for all you have done to broaden my mind about the world.  I really hope times will change so that a new Dispatches will arise.


Brenda Boutilier, North Rustico PEI:

There is only one word to describe the cancelling of Dispatches; WRONG. One could write an honours thesis on why this show is excellent, important and relevent but any person " with only half a mind " has to listen to a show to see that. Whoever is responsible for the decision to cancel the show is, simply put, an idiot!


Irwin Block, Montreal:

A very sad day for those of us who depended on your contributors and editors to do what Sunday Morning used to do, and As it Happens can't do  -- bring us the world through documentary radio. Rick et al, you have done a great job. You deserve medals, not pink slips.


Barbara Martin, Oshawa:

Like all things that I love that come to an end, your last show brought me to tears. Not because it was necessarily sad, or touching or even the last show, but because after twelve years of listenining to the world through the lense of Dispatches, I will miss its voice. I will miss the music that calls me to spend an hour thinking about people a world away. I will miss Rick MacInnes- Rae introducing the story with compassion and passion. Most of all I will miss the depth to which each story goes to find its heart. Dispatches has been a friend. I will miss you.


Maija Kagis, Ottawa, Ont:

I have enjoyed so many of your programs, that it's impossible to choose one. But, I do want to add one thought: as we defend CBC, we must be aware that your management is sometime nearsighted .  Why have they cut Dispatches while allowing repeats of so many other programs not half as interesting?  I suspect there has been some bowing and scraping to political masters in hopes of pleasing them.

As we have seen over the centuries, even the bowers and scrapers are cut off, so why not be brave and keep a program like yours. Thank you for some wonderful listening.


Dave Stevens, Port Elgin, ON:

Hello Folks.
I can't let this day pass without at least an E-mail to tell you how much I have enjoyed your program over the years. I'm very sorry that you are being removed from "my" CBC. It seems that "my" CBC is becoming less and less "mine"...

Jack Zyberk, Ottawa:

I couldn't belive it. They killed the best program on the CBC.
Now I can take my radio to garbage....Thanks to everyone who made Dispatches such a great program.


Janet Fowler, Carman, MB:

Dispatches is one of the most  informed programs in media.  Unfortunately, one can no longer use the word 'real' with any credibility.  Please bring back more insightful world programming.  For those of us who have traveled, this extensive reporting begins to answer so many unspoken questions.


Marie Traynor, Kingston ON:

Dear Rick et al

This note is on the sad side for sure. Our reputation as peacekeepers, environmental stewards and gracious hosts to refugees seems to be sliding away. I have always found too, that thanks to shows such as yours we are often appreciated for our knowledge, be it limited, of events and life in far off corners of this small, but diverse earth of ours.

I just heard the final Dispatch. The honour, sir, has been ours. Wishing you and your team many more opprotunties to ask important and curious questions Thank you.


Ian Rankin, Dorval, QC:


 I will greatly miss not hearing new episodes of Dispatches. Your show was so good, so important a vehicle of valuable information, so necessary to our troubled world (and country) today.

SHAME on the sinister forces which prevailed to either directly or indirectly bring about the end of your fantastic show.

THANK YOU for the wealth which you brought to us these past years, and I hope and pray that more enlightened minds will prevail some day soon and put you guys back in the drivers' seat of your 'vehicle'. You can rest assured that I and many others will be scouring the CBC website for past episodes which we may have overlooked or missed.

Fare thee all well.


Pam O'Rourke, Kitchener:

Rick - you, your comforting voice, every reporter, were like friends bringing the real world into my home and especially my car as I travelled about for work.
Your REAL questions and queries and those of all the special journalists not only gave me joy, laughs, many head shakes,unbelievable moments, but also the stories I would share with my senior adult education classes - about 350 people a week!
I am choked up right now listening to your last hour on air and I really feel like I am losing a true friend in the world, the world where ordinary and extraordinary people go about living in all kinds of circumstances and you and your correspondents took us there and gave us an understanding of life. You not only brought us the world but gave a chance for the journalism to shine from the huts and street corners, from slum and farm fields.

Thank you profoundly. This cut is a loss to Canadians and journalists and people around the globe. You are missed already like a hole cut in my favourite quilt.  Thank you and may your talent find a way to brighten our lives once more.


Margo Royce, Gatineau QC:

To Rick MacInnes-Rae, the Dispatches team and all the Dispatches Correspondents:
Dear Rick,
I have intended to write to you for so many months, even before CBC announced the end of Dispatches.  At that time, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated you as host and the show.  I wanted to let you know how relieved I was when Margaret Evans went to London for I was worried about her, with her wonderful courage and poetic reports.  I was, again, worried when she went to Syria and so afraid that courage would lead her to danger.
Extreme family medical situations delayed that email to you but can no longer be delayed as this is your last show and you have done it in such style and grace that I have tears....
Rick, thank you for the concept created, for the poetry and stories you have given home to and for being a host I loved hearing twice every week.  May you find a new and frequent home on our air waves and may you know there are many like me who will miss you and may not have had the chance to tell you so.
With all my mind and heart, thank you.

Suzanne MacKenzie, Peachland, BC:

I am more than sorry, I am disappointed that this broadcast is finished!!  Conversations have come up with friends about different subjects, and I have been surprised when I have some inside knowledge of the topic...then wondered just where I heard the information that I had just sprewed forth..then realized I had heard it on Dispatches!!


Donna Smiley, Ottawa:

To All Those Who Have Brought CBC's Dispatches To Us:

I just listened to the final episode of Dispatches. I will miss all the wonderfully insightful stories from your talented contributors.

Over the past several years, I have sent repeated emails to John Baird, until recently my MP, protesting the cut to CBC without a single response. May I suggest that those disappointed Dispatch listeners in Alberta, especially Calgary Southwest, call and write and email their MPs, to
demand restore funding to the CBC, because it seems they might be only Canadians who's opinions actually matter.

Marc Gagnon:

It baffles my mind as to why this program is being cut. I am a recent listener to CBC Radio One and Dispatches has become one of my favorite.

Too bad it will no longer air. What a mistake.
Dispatches was able to take my mind away to far away places I would never get a chance to see or bring stories I would never read anywhere else.


Marguerite Warner, Winnipeg, MB:

I am so sorry about the cancellation of Dispatches. Listening to the Sunday repeats is a favourite ritual in our household, one that is going to be deeply missed. Our two young adults, who sometimes catch up with a program on their ipods, are frequently moved by the journalists' stories, and we've had great family conversations about situations/issues covered on a Dispatches program....


Joan Newman, Calgary:

Rick, thank you and your team of correspondents and technicians for bringing such enlightening, in-depth reports from the many troubled areas around the world.  I can't believe that Dispatches was one of the programs cut by the CBC executive--it's the documentary programs that make CBC different from the dumbed-down morass of media.  These are sad times for Canada, and for you and your team.  My heart goes out to you.  Please know that you have made a real difference in enlightening Canadians.


Howard Krosnick, Montreal:

I happened by chance on your final show today. I have been both saddened and infuriated by the decision to cancel the series. Over the years I have learned so much about what is happening in the world, have heard voices that I would never have heard otherwise, have learned and been moved and have become a better, more informed citizen. Dispatches is what the CBC is (has been) about and the cost of shutting it down to save a few dollars has made every Canadian poorer. We are less as a country because you are off the air. 
Congratulations to each and every one of you responsible for the program. I salute you.


Alison Watt, North Vancouver:

Dear Rick and crew,

I just want to thank you for the amazing stories I have had the privilege of hearing on your program over the years.  I am so sorry that this program has been cut.  It is one of the best programs in all of CBC Radio.    Thank you for all the work that has gone into bringing us the world.  Today the world has shrunk a little (a lot) smaller for Canadians.


Jan Beattie, Indian Head SK:

It is with great sadness to have listened to the last of these very informative programs after 12 years on the air.  CBC is one of Canada's treasures and the envy of world-wide listeners. Programs like this are a feather in CBC's cap & we listeners are the better off for having been gifted with all the world news we have heard over the years.  CBC is my 'newspaper on the air' and little by little it is being chipped away at by the 'powers that be' and as a result we citizens are the poorer for it. 

Dispatches has given us a glimpse of how life really is in parts of the world we would otherwise never have heard about. Without this kind of information we will get very myopic & unaware of the blessings we have here. With cuts like this, we will become less & less aware of the happenings in our world. 

Thank you CBC for giving us Dispatches...... from now on we are the worse for the lack of the wider horizons this has brought into our lives... less aware, less humble.  We are still blessed to have CBC but today is a sad day for CBC listeners.


Thomas Knutson, Saskatoon:

I was very dismayed to hear the cancelling of one of the best programs on CBC, Dispatches.  For me, the power of the stories has, at times, compelled me to drop whatever I was doing to focus solely on what I was hearing.  The correspondants have always treated each subject with great sensitivity, and with the utmost respect to its participants, so many of whom display great courage and tenacity in the face of oppression.  Where else in Canada would we come to know such stories?


Stephanie Wells, Hornby Island, BC:

To Rick, all of you at Dispatches, and all the contributors,
I'm almost in tears listening to your final programme. Dropping Dispatches is a terrible mistake. I have worked as a journalist in southern Africa and travelled extensively in Asia and the Middle East. So many of the places and people I came to know are just not on the media agenda. Only Dispatches has paid attention to the regular people in forgotten places. I have always listened to your show, often re-listened.

I cannot thank you enough for your brilliant, touching, original and unique work. I will certainly miss you, as will many, many Canadians. I believe it's nothing short of a tragedy that Dispatches has fallen to the budget ax, what a terrible loss.


James Lithgow:

Hello Rick and crew,

Oh well, it was a good run and often enough a change is as good as a rest.   Thanks for some of the best radio ever, on par with the Golden Days of As It Happens, Gzowski et al.

I'm not sure where I'll go for international coverage from a Canadian perspective in this time of the Global Village (another great show gone).


Casey Wolf, Vancouver:

I am furious that yet another great CBC program has hit the dust I do not want to listen to endless repeats of musician interviews, however much another might enjoy these. I turn on the radio to learn something, to be moved, to be informed about my world, and that right--it seems to me a right, foolish as that may be--is being lost cut by cut. I am curbing my tongue out of respect for myself and you. That your tongues are being curbed is to me very wrong.


Beth Moyer, Lethbridge, AB:

As an inveterate CBC listener, I am so sorry that Dispatches has fallen victim to the unfortunate cuts at the CBC. I have always enjoyed listening to your programme which was able to offer so much more in-depth reporting from other countries. Having lived in Tanzania, as well as some globe-trotting, the 'dispatches' from your correspondants were so meaningful.  Maybe one day Dispatches will rise again, phoenix-like.


David Galloway, Whitehorse:

What a wonderful show...what a wonderful effort to create such a wonderful show. Thank you for your dedication and hard work. I have really appreciated it over the years....you guys are what CBC is all about. Thank you....all of you.
Love and Hugs

Hugh Logie, Medicine Hat, Alberta:

Rick and Colleagues:

I just finished listening to your final show, and when it was over and the last strains of that familiar theme faded, I confess that I broke down and wept. 

Your program has been my ever-present companion for a very long time now, and it was one of the major reasons I found it very easy to stay loyal to CBC Radio over the years.  To me, Dispatches epitomized all that was finest about the CBC and it's journalists.  Your program never failed to inform, enlighten, and challenge me.  In a world where it is sometimes hard to know what is truth, where misinformation is rampant and it seems that outright lies from politicians and others in authority are not just accepted but expected, you earned and kept my trust.

I've watched one of this country's greatest national institutions absorb round after round of attacks by short-sighted and small-minded governments.  I've seen the blows fall, some of them devastating, and yet the CBC staggers back to its feet and soldiers on regardless.  But they've lost something very important this time around, and the world just got smaller for myself and the rest of your listeners.  I was at one time simply proud to be Canadian, but of late that is tempered with three elements - humility at realizing just how lucky we are in this country, shame at the way that this current government is destroying decades of fine Canadian work worldwide, and finally, anger.  We don't get angry much in this country, it seems - but perhaps it's time we did.  Then perhaps we can shake off our complacency and get to work making a difference in this world.


Terry Chantler, Pender Island:

 Dear Rick MacInnes Rae and staff:

I'm sorry and outraged about Dispatches' cancellation, as if Canadian taxpayers can no longer afford the education on essential matters that you've provided so well for so long. Who thinks we won't continue to need that information?--only those who either don't listen to it or are devoid of empathy. Huge thanks for all the contributions you've made over the years toward helping the over-privileged understand the helpless. Without information where will compassion come from? It's frustrating to have to merely express outrage at Canada's loss of this program and at the world's consequent loss of the inestimable benefits that would otherwise have continued to arise in future years from the insights the program provides...


Yvonne A. Zarowny:

I literally wept at the beauty and sensitivity with which you did your last program.  So Canadian!  I look forward to your return once we get our world turned around, proper funding returned to the CBC, CBC producers "free" to pursue critical investigative reporting as well as Canadians telling their stories and those of others from here and there.  Meantime, I shall work my way through the archives ... and hopefully you will be returned to air before I am finished.  I know ... I dream big ... but we have to turn this world around so we will.  Meantime - you folks take good care.  I know whatever you move on to do, it will be with good taste, sensitivity ... and a sense of wry humour.  Thanks.


Elizabeth Inkster, Tlell, Haida Gwaii, BC:

Hi Rick:  Living in such an isolated place for over 40 years, CBC has informed and entertained me and my family for many years.  Sadly I have observed the decline in CBC programing, the many repeats, the end of local programming.  But to learn that CBC, in it's great wisdom, has cancelled Dispatches truly disappoints me.

Your show is informative, shocking and fascinating.  I greatly regret it's demise.  With all the misinformation out there, we really NEED programs such as yours to help us to find a connection with all the corners of the world, to feel a connection with people of varied and different backgrounds.  Surely stability and peace will only come when we have some empathy with people we will never meet, and your program drew us into a better understanding of their lives.


Jack Reef, Los Angeles:

 Rick (and everyone involved in Dispatches),

Fantastic program.  Quintessential radio journalism.
You should be very proud.
What can I do to help save Dispatches?

Maybe it can be picked up by NPR or the BBC?

Please tell me how I can help!!!!

Kati Martini, Tofino:

A huge thank you for the years of insight and access to the world. 

And my own small protest.  I have been a CBC listener for over 30 years, since I discovered the spot on the dial in our student apartment in Toronto.  Many miles and years later, I have enjoyed, learned from, and occasionally endured what CBC AM/1 has brought to air.  Weekly installments of 'Dispatches' will be missed more than I can say, and I cannot imagine the rationale for the decision to end this program. 

In-depth, insightful reporting connecting Canadians to the world -- it's been huge, and will be much missed.


Graham Punnett, Penticton:

I will always remember the haunting sound of "What It Is" coming across the room or vehicle followed by Rick's distinctive scratchy voice and his intimate intros and questions for all you correspondents around the world.
I just don't get it -- that Dispatches and Mark Kelley's Connect should be gone.  Tears drift down my cheeks. Good-bye, and you will not be forgotten.


Rob Roy, Kamloops:

What's wrong with Canada!
Listening to the last radio cast of Dispatches a few minutes ago, I was filled with frustration, anger and ultimately a sense sadness and loss.

The loss, the sense of Canadians being as interested, concerned and when possible involved in the lives of others globally.

I guess just as we were once known as peacekeepers, this to must fall as we are completely enveloped by a gelatinous morass of American style pop journalism culture. The quick headline like sound bytes attempting to coerce our sensibilities into believing that they're, as the late Jack Webb would annunciate, " just the facts m'am, just the facts. "


Wendy Cameron, 83 Mile House, BC:

Hi Rick and the Dispatches Crew:

I listened to your last program this afternoon and it left me quite sad.  I have been a regular listener over the years and you have entertained and educated me, and have brought me the world.  I don't understand why the CBC has ended your show.  I think it was one of the best on the network and I will miss you terribly.  Good luck in the future.


Rosa Quintana Lillo, Vancouver:

Today, Thursday June 21st 2012 is one of the saddest days in my 30 years of listening to CBC Radio. I am so sad to hear Dispatches come to an end. Who will bring us the world? I have learned so much about the world through Dispatches that I am afraid of what will become of me. Will I become afraid of the world for I will know so much less about it without Dispatches and all your brave reporters. I thank you for educating me and making me into a more worldly person.

I often think of Mark Twain's quote "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness".  Dispatches took me to places I would never be able to visit or know about and let me learn of other people's experiences and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for all your good work.


John Brennand, Langley, BC:

Hi Rick & Co.,

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

Somebody will have recognized the Douglas Adams quote... but it is you leaving us.  My schedule has meant that I have probably missed more episodes than I have listened to but I have to say that everything I DID hear was well worth my time.

As I have family connections to both Britain and Zimbabwe I have always tried to catch episodes covering those countries.  Zimbabwe is particularly terrifying these days.

The cuts to the CBC budget and the resulting programming losses are a personal bug for me (I have made sure my MP and Stephen Harper know that I am displeased), "Dispatches" and radio drama are the ones that stand out most.

Thanks for all the great radio, good luck in your next assignments.


Maki Van Dyke, Rosebud, Alberta:

Dear Rick and Dispatches Team,

Thank you for 12 years of fantastic journalism!  I'm currently listening to the last broadcast and sad to see you go.  The dispatches stories were intelligent, raw, and heart rending.  Many times I would listen to dispatches and cry out in outrage or hold back tears.  I've always appreciated the compassionate and humane treatment of horrific stories without becoming maudlin.  You are to be commended and I wish everyone on the team much success in their new endeavours.


Pauline Brunton, Cawston BC:

I was saddened to listen to the final episode of Dispatches today.  It is one program that I always stop to listen to on the radio. The subject matter is of interest no matter what part of the world it came from.  An excellent job Rick and your team.  Thumbs down to CBC for slashing it.

Bobbie Cann, Cumberland, BC:

Hello to Rick MacInnes-Rae & your wonderful team, I am so sad. My husband and I have enjoyed your show for years. It is one of our VERY favourites. I cannot tell you how shocked and disappointed we were to hear about the cancellation. It makes no sense to me. I've learned a great deal over the years because of your program. There is nothing like it, and now I wonder what you and your team will be doing, ...I will miss you. Thank YOU!


Sharon Lax, Montreal:

From what I wrote my MP:

...The program 'Dispatches' is CRITICAL to our understanding not only of the world, but to our understanding of ourselves, as Canadians, and our role in the world. This is my main concern right now. I believe that without such radio documentaries, we cannot compete with the large U.S., my other country (dual citizenship). I have worked in the US., for t.v. and radio. I can say, through experience, that alongside a mammoth country like the U.S., with the cancellation of 'Dispatches,' Canadians are losing a fundamental tool. The CBC, like the BBC, is crucial to the English speakers not only of Canada, but of the world. 'Dispatches' is the epitome of what the CBC means to Canadians here and living elsewhere."


Dan Lee, Ann Arbor, Michigan:

As an American who has access to the CBC airwaves, learning of the end of Dispatches on the opening segment of Q was very sad. We in the USA are starved for real in depth journalism with no spin. Rick Maclnnes-Rae is a great interviewer and everyone on the show did a great job. NPR doesn't have a show that comes close to Dispatches. This is a real blow to North America and the world.


Denis Salter,  McGill University, Montreal:

Dear Mr MacInnes-Rae and all the staffers: Thanks for the show: it has been a constant source of instruction and delight. I just have to (had to) hear the intro' theme song / music and I became eager in anticipation of all kinds of auditory treats.  I think it is wrong that, no matter how acute the budget cuts, that the CBC decided to cancel your show: it is, after all, a great way to engage with a conversation from around the world; us learning about them; them learning about us. This is (was) singular.  You will be missed.


Bridget Wall, Duncan BC:

Thank you, Rick, and many correspondents around the world for your illuminating Dispatches. You have brought us knowledge, compassion, horror that requires recording, humour, international events, glimpses into the lives of people whom we will never otherwise encounter ...

The vacuum resulting from your absence on CBC will affect the lives of so many Canadians and their families throughout diasporas across the world.

I am ashamed that I have never expressed my heartfelt appreciation of your Dispatches about and from my country of Zimbabwe. You, Laura Lynch, Bruce Edwards and others have informed millions about the sad current state of Zimbabwe - and you have inspired those of us in the diaspora to work harder at supporting viable projects in Zimbabwe.

I thank you for excellent journalism, a unique kaleidoscope of the world around Canada, and thought-provoking perspectives. Shame on the people who have cut a programme that relates this country to the huge world around us.

Sadly and sincerely


Michael Linehan, Sooke, BC:

I only discovered Dispatches within the last year. A WONDERFUL program. Long enough to be informative, interesting and useful. Short enough to be able to have a wide assortment of information. You've told me so much I wouldn't have known, otherwise.


Barry Bucknell, Edmonton:

I'm sorry to see the end of this program. I spent a few years in New Zealand and Australia and this show became a bit of a touchstone.  It also became clearer to me that it has been a real gift; a viewing place into the humanity of our world.


Nelson Melgar Jr, currently in London ON:

I'm going to miss Dispatches like a friend who is gone but never forgotten. Having travelled through East Africa last year I always had episodes of Dispatches on my iPod listening to it made me feel like I always had a piece of home where ever I went. I want to thank you all, your dedication to reporting is outstanding and inspirational. I will never forget all you have taught me, educated me on, and inspirited me to make a positive change in the world. Thank you for the best of CBC programming.

Sam Punnett, Toronto:

Here's to Dispatches!  Absolutely one of the finest current affairs shows on radio.

I wish they'd asked me where they could have made budget cuts.  I probably listen to more CBC radio than the programmers themselves.  Radio is the first medium in my book. This decision is a huge "fail".

Rick MacInnes-Rae is an exceptional host bringing all the best qualities of radio (IMHO) to listeners.  Dispatches has a personality I haven't found anywhere else while listening to a great range of Internet radio. The story selection and format have always been some of the most engaging listening anywhere.  I know my household is going to miss Dispatches.


Nancy Reid, New Maryland, NB:

Of all the stupid things CBC management has done lately, cancelling Dispatches has to top the list.  I will miss this superb program. Thanks for keeping me company all over the world, thanks for opening interesting windows on the world for me as well. 


Ted Nasmith, Bradford, ON:

To Rick and to all your colleagues--whether on staff at CBC, or your many correspondents out in the world--I want to express my sincere gratitude for one of the most interesting and consistently excellent radio documentary programs anywhere. The cancellation of this of all programs can only be seen as being necessary because CBC has been put in such a position of underfunding that such shocking cuts have been reluctantly deemed the lesser evil.

Still, I can't begin to get my head around the loss of such a journalistically excellent and vitally informative show, one that has been a staple of CBC1 radio for so many years. Rick, your warm, intelligent, personality  has kept me company on so many occasions when I worked late in my studio, or during its daytime slots. My partner Marian and I share a sense of grief at this latest blow to Canadian broadcasting excellence, and I know she shares my sentiments. I've since joined Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, and will do my part to oppose the slow strangulation of CBC. ...

Guy LeBlanc, Moncton:

Dear Dispatches crew,

I have traveled the world through my radio with Dispatches for may many years and you have put on a top quality show.  I am very sad to see the program get cut.

Thanks for may years of great entertainement.


Michael Rachlis, Toronto:

 Thank you for 11 wonderful years. You filled my Riverdale kitchen with the sounds of the world. I will miss your voice. All best to all of you at Dispatches but especially to Rick and Alan


Shayna Plaut, Vancouver:

 I am so sorry that Dispatches is no longer going to have a home on CBC. As someone from the states who works internationally and was involved in Chicago Public Radio's "Wordview" -- Dispatches truely did welcome me to Canada when I arrive in August 2009.

And Rick, as a person, reconfirmed my commitment to  continue  building and believing in bridges between journalism and human rights.

Last October I met Rick at a conference "Can Media Halt Human Rights Abuses" in Montreal.
I had heard his voice coming out of my radio ever since I came to Canada i -- I made sure to never miss an episode of Dispatches -- but nothing prepared me for the mountain of a man I met and interacted with over those couple of days.

It was not just his size -- although you are a very large man, Rick -- it was his passion. His unmitigated, unapologetic commitment and passion to the people who crossed his path -- not just as stories, or sources or even colleagues but as PEOPLE -- people who have stories. His passion and commitment to human rights that guided not only his online radio personality but, as I noted over the conference, also his engagement with other journalism professionals, policy makers and us, the audience.

Too often we are asked to choose between passion and politics and professionalism -- particularly within the journalistic profession -- it was such a refreshing change to see another example of how to be a solid, professional journalist and a deeply commitment and dignified man of principles.


Lee Bigelow. St. John's:


This morning I was having breakfast at Blue here in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland when I noticed Jian Ghomeshi sitting at the table across from mine. First I thought, "What's he doing in town?" Then the cancellation of Dispatches came to mind and I thought I should ask him if he would give Rick a hug of thanks for me when he next saw him kicking aroud at the CBC. As well as the hug I figured I should also write a little thank-you note.

It would say how much I would miss the show and how much I had learned about the world from it. The Lost City of Z, The Fourth Part of the World, the Burnesh of the Balkan's, and so much more. Where else am I to learn of such diverse things?

Jian and his friend looked to be having a nice meal which I didn't want to disturb so I decided to send you this email instead. Rick should still ask him for the hug though. Tell him Lee said it was important.


Rob Lofstedt, Charlottetown:


This was my favourite CBC program ever.


Susan E. Forster:

To Rick M.R and the team that has informed and entertained for many years, I say a sad farewell. CBC cuts to intelligent radio programmes breaks my heart. I lay the blame at the feet of a right-wing government that fears scrutiny of its decisions in foreign affairs and, equally, an educated public.  I see no light on the horizon. But thank you anyway.

Liz Tyrwhitt, Ottawa:

I have listened to your program almost from the start. And in recent years, I always looked forward to your program on Sunday evening!

Was always moved by the stories I heard. Was amazed with the variety of issues presented.

I am so sorry your program has been cut. This was one of the best on CBC!


Denise Campeau, Fredericton, NB:

I am disconsolate to be listening a final Dispatches.  The stories told by your correspondents have been resonant on so many levels, bringing me into other peoples' lives and spaces over these years. 

Travelling vicariously with Dispatches has always made me mindful of the privileges of being a Canadian with one eye on my homeland and the other eye cast abroad. Listening to Rick on Sunday evenings has been a powerful experience in nostalgia in me, for both travel and for home.  What a loss to CBC and the Canadians who tune in...


Ray Roddick, St.John's:

Thank you Rick and crew ...Your virtual presence has been much appreciated over the years. A warm voice of reason in an insane world has gone silent. Truly sad. Good luck and good night.


Jackie, Dundas, Ontario:

Completely stunned over the Sunday night dirty dishes to hear your last broadcast! It is outrageous that a programme of such outstanding calibre, a veritable nonpareil, should vanish. The sophomoric nonsense which has overtaken our airways in many time-slots promises very little for the intellectual reach, and cosmopolitan understanding, of future listeners. Thank you to all the producers, presenters, technicians and all involved in a programme we can all be proud to have participated in, however passively. You brought me the World, and it changed my understanding of so many things.

Jim Morkin, Calgary:

It's a sad Sunday evening for me, knowing that Dispatches is off the air.
I'm a regular and have never taken the time to thank everyone for an incredible programme.
I've learned a lot and have been moved regularly by your stories.
The story about the Argentinian prisoner returning to Argentina to testify against his torturers brought me to tears. What a shame that this "window to the world" is going to be heard again.

Valerie Johnson, Victoria:

A lump came up in my throat when I heard about the cutbacks.  Tears flowed when I heard the broadcast earlier this week and again just now.  Could we have done anything to save the show?  We should have written earlier.  This program has been very close to my heart as we have personal interest in some of the stories.  For example, my daughter was called to Haiti after the earthquake and worked there for six months.  She has also worked in Tajikistan and Romania (so far).  I assess newcomers' English and it gives me topics for conversation with my clients and makes me aware of the issues i may not want to allude to...


Ingrid Veilleux, Richmond, BC:

Dear Rick and the whole Dispatches crew,

Thank you for bringing such moving and heart-felt stories to the airwaves for so many seasons. Your show is the only one on CBC that regularly moves me to tears. You have made the world both a bigger and a smaller place for me. My world is bigger because I have been able to travel through my radio to places I may never visit and meet people in their homes. My world is smaller because these people's stories make me feel closer to them.

Lou Allison:

Congratulations on an absolutely great final show, up to the standard we have come to expect from Dispatches: th eiconic blend of soundbites, longer content and personal notes.I always particularly liked your ground-level, people-in-their-homes-and-on-the-street take on international stories. I am going to miss hearing you. I am very disppointed that an important show of your calibre is cancelled, and so much of the vapid drivel will continue to air (no names). Thank you for your interesting stories and professional delivery with good writing & good editing over the years.


Andrew Orr, Vancouver:

I just want to thank for the past 12 years. My wife Kathleen and I rarely missed a program, and of all the thoughts I could share, I choose just two.

The first is the small way that Dispatches took us back every Sunday. A dozen years ago, I was regional director for Africa for CUSO, based in Accra. We would sit down for dinner after 6:00. The sun had set, the wind had died down, the heat and humidity remained, and the relative coolness of the night had not yet arrived. The air was heavy with the stillness. As we ate, we would listen to Focus on Africa. And Kathleen would note that she could perfectly time the show the sweat trickling down the crack of her bum.

We didn't have many bum trickles listening to Dispatches, but it took us back there in spirit.

The second has to do with what your 3 correspondents had to say, and what I will miss most. Layers. Having have the great fortune to lived overseas 3 times, including twice in Africa, I appreciate the layers. There are no short stories. Things that can't possibly be connected are. And unless you spend you whole life there, you can never fathom them all. But you can only start to appreciate the richness, and also what you are missing.

Dipatches is one of the few programs that has, in a very small way, conveyed that.

Thank you


Kim Smith:

 I was so sad to hear that this week was your last episode.  I tried to catch your show whenever I could, this week 1 1/2 times.  It was my Sunday night companion to doing tedious paper work and home office cleaning.  I always enjoy hearing the "Dispatches" as it reminded me of my 3 years living and working in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.

 I always meant to write in with my story of arriving back in Riyadh from my safe haven in the south just in time for the first SCUD missile attack. From the look on the Saudi 2 TV reporter's face, to the routine of hearing  air raid sirens, then listening for the Patriot missile launch and then hoping you didn't hear any other further loud crashes, to becoming involved in the "Scud Watching"- running to the high ground as soon as the air raid sirens went off to watch for the Patriot missile to take out the Scud Missile mid air and then cheer with the rest of the crowd.It was a surreal experience for sure, but small and weird compared to all the changes that have happened in the middle east since then. 

I guess that is why I enjoy listening to others' stories as well, big and dramatic or small and weird.  I will miss your show, but I guess I still l have some time to listen online which I will do.


Elliot Drobetsky Ph.D, Full Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal:

Dear Rick and Crew,

I only heard about the cancellation while tuning in to the very last show. I was initially shocked, then greatly saddened. I am still speechless one day later.

Best of luck to all of you. I sincerely hope to hear one day soon that Dispatches, perhaps the greatest CBC show ever, has been revived.



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