Canada bans Russian news channels RT and RT France

Canada on Wednesday officially banned service providers from broadcasting Russian news channels RT (formerly Russia Today) and RT France, saying their programming is not in the “public interest.”

“Freedom of expression and diversity of views are essential elements of our democracy. However, broadcasting in Canada is a privilege, not a right,” explained Ian Scott, President of the Canadian Broadcasting and Telecommunications Council (CRTC).

The public body was also concerned about the “programming of a foreign country that seeks to undermine the sovereignty of another, degrade Canadians of a certain ethnic origin and undermine democratic institutions in Canada.”

Major Canadian cable operators had already pulled RT from their channels shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Accused of being instruments of “disinformation” by Moscow in the context of its war against Ukraine, the Russian state media RT and Sputnik have already been expelled from the European Union, and their television and internet broadcasts have been banned since March 2.

Launched in 2005 as “Russia Today,” the state-owned RT has grown with stations and websites in multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, and Arabic.

jc (afp, Reuters)