Thursday, June 28, 2012
Sad Day for Sackville... and Canada
Yesterday, Radio Canada International stopped broadcasting it's worldwide signal via Short-wave from its landmark transmitting facility next to the Trans-Canada Highway at my hometown of Sackville NB. Canada no longer has a worldwide voice. Sure, the RCI studio located in Montreal continues to send it's services over the Internet, but information-hungry people living under authoritarian regimes that block foreign IP content, or in countries that have yet to establish reliable internet service, or perhaps people anywhere who cannot afford internet, but already have a radio will no longer hear what Canada has to say. Here's an announcement from the local CBC News Service.
I have always felt the Voice of Canada radiating from Sackville, almost as a comfort, even before I made this my permanent home back in 2001. From childhood, just seeing that impressive antenna array that had stood proud since before World War II had caused me to be an avid short-wave listener, and I think of this as a supplement to my education, even as a young boy, as I listened to short-wave broadcasts from many other countries.
I really hope that the site doesn't get dismantled. I'm sure it would be a great location for a wind turbine field, but it's an even better location for short-wave broadcasts, with the salt-marshes acting as a natural signal reflector and an ideal ground-plane, it was originally built here for a reason - the best location in the country for such a facility. My hope is that at least some other short-wave broadcaster will purchase the entire site turn-key. This, however, will not change the fact that Canada's unique voice of democracy has now been strangled forever, as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
A sad... very sad day.