February 28, 2022
Feb 27 (Reuters) – Major Canadian cable operators have said they would drop Russian state-owned broadcaster RT from their channel line-up in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rogers Communications and BCE Inc’s (BCE.TO) Bell said on Sunday that RT would no longer be available on their systems. TELUS also tweeted that Telus Optik TV was joining the move.
Effective immediately, @TELUS Optik TV will no longer be carrying Russia TV in our channel lineup.
— TELUS News (@TELUSNews) February 28, 2022
Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO)removed RT effective from Monday, saying users who subscribed to RT as a pick and pay service would receive a credit in the next billing cycle.
Effective tomorrow, Shaw will no longer be carrying Russia Today. Customers who subscribe to RT as a pick and pay service will receive a credit in the next billing cycle.
— Shaw Communications (@ShawInfo) February 28, 2022
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission did not immediately respond to request for a comment.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez praised Bell for restricting RT, saying Russia had been conducting information warfare across the world. Rogers would replace RT with a broadcast of the Ukrainian flag, he said.
“RT is the propaganda arm of Putin’s regime that spreads disinformation. It has no place here,” Rodriguez added.
I commend Bell for removing RT. Russia has been conducting warfare in Ukraine since 2014 and information warfare across the world. RT is the propaganda arm of Putin’s regime that spreads disinformation. It has no place here. I’ll have more to say very soon. #cdnpoli
— Pablo Rodriguez (@pablorodriguez) February 28, 2022
The European Union also banned RT and news agency Sputnik. Last week, the bloc unveiled sanctions on RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, calling her “a central figure” of Russian propaganda. read more
Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) on Saturday barred RT and other channels from receiving money for ads on their websites, apps and YouTube videos, similar to a move by Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O), after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. read more
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.
Canada joined other countries by ramping up sanctions on Moscow, shutting its airspace to Russian aircraft.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said sanctions against Russia would impose “severe costs on complicit Russian elites”.
Liquor stores in a few Canadian provinces removed Russian vodka and other Russian made alcoholic drinks from their shelves. Canada’s most populous province, also directed the Liquor Control Board Of Ontario on Friday to withdraw all Russian products. read more