The Creation of Radio Canada International
Prior to World War II, the idea of an international radio service had been discussed. Studies at the time concluded that Canada needed a broadcasting service that would give the world the Canadian perspective.
On September 18, 1942, the CBC International Service was created. The adoption of a government decree led to the creation of a shortwave broadcasting service for members of the Canadian Forces deployed overseas during World War II. The objective was to provide news and offer entertainment programming from home.
On December 25, 1944, Christmas specials in French and English, were broadcast to Canadian troops in Europe.
Two months later, on February 25, 1945, the International Service of Radio Canada was inaugurated in Montreal. The programs are broadcast in both official languages of Canada, French and English, and in a first foreign language, German.
All programs were directed at Britain and the rest of Western Europe. According to Listeners Reports, Canada’s International Service had the strongest shortwave signal of all of North America.
Listen to the first issue on the English waves: the Mackenzie King speech