Russia-Ukraine crisis

Major Canadian cable operators block Russian state-owned broadcaster RT

Major Canadian cable operators block Russian state-owned broadcaster RT

AGAINST RT. A placard against Russian broadcaster RT is displayed at a protest rally against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 27, 2022.

Chris Helgren/Reuters

Rogers Communications and BCE Inc's Bell say RT will no longer be available on their systems

Two Canadian cable operators on Sunday, February 27, said they would drop Russian state-owned broadcaster RT from their channel line-up in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In separate statements issued as Canada joined other countries ramping up sanctions on Moscow, shutting its airspace to Russian aircraft, Rogers Communications and BCE Inc’s Bell said RT will no longer be available on their systems.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez praised Bell for restricting RT, saying Russia has been conducting information warfare across the world. Rogers will 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.

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. 

Alphabet Inc’s Google 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 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had earlier imposed sanctions against Russia which he said would impose “severe costs on complicit Russian elites”.

Liquor stores in the provinces of Manitoba and Newfoundland on Friday said they were removing Russian spirits, while Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, also directed the Liquor Control Board Of Ontario to withdraw all Russian products. –