Rogers, Bell and Shaw pull Russian state-controlled channel RT over invasion of Ukraine
Network the 'propaganda arm' of Putin, Canadian Heritage Minister says
Rogers, Bell and Shaw said Sunday they will no longer be carrying Russian state-controlled network RT in their TV channel lineups in the latest action against Russian entities following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Bell confirmed it is no longer carrying RT as of Sunday, while Rogers and Shaw both said it will pull the TV network on Monday. "Customers who subscribe to RT as a pick and pay service will receive a credit in the next billing cycle," Shaw said in a tweet
It was not immediately known if the moves are permanent.
RT is a multi-language 24-hour news channel launched in 2005 — when it was known as Russia Today — and is now broadcast in more than 100 countries, according to its website. Funded by the Russian government, the channel has long been described by critics as a propaganda outlet for the Kremlin.
On Sunday, Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez applauded the decisions by the Canadian telecoms, calling RT the "propaganda arm" of Russian President Vladimir Putin "that spreads disinformation."
"It has no place here," Rodriguez said on Twitter.
We have made the decision that effective tomorrow, Russia Today will no longer be available on our channel lineup.—@AboutRogers
Putin, high-ranking Russian officials and banks have been slapped with sanctions by Canada and other countries in recent days after his decision to invade neighbouring Ukraine.
The Canadian government on Sunday announced it will send at least $25 million in additional non-lethal military aid to Ukraine as that country fights against a Russian invasion.
On Friday, several Canadian phone providers — including Rogers and Bell — said they were waiving long-distance and text charges for customers looking to connect with people in Ukraine.