Rogers, Bell, Telus, Shaw remove Russia Today from channel lineup amid Ukraine invasion

The Russian state-owned television network, Russia Today, will no longer be available on the Rogers, Bell, Shaw and Telus channel lineups.

Thousands of Canadians have marched in rallies across the country to show their solidarity for Ukraine and condemn Russia’s invasion, which started Thursday and has seen widespread fighting across nearly the whole of Ukraine.

Demonstrators have been calling on Canada to do more to support Ukraine and punish Russia. Part of their calls was to yank RT from Canada’s airwaves.

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Federal Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said the government was looking at what to do with RT but tweeted Sunday that Bell and Rogers were removing RT from their station lineups.

Calling RT the “propaganda arm of Putin’s regime,” he said the network has no place in Canada and he’ll have more to say about it “very soon.”

Rogers will remove RT and replace it with a broadcast of the Ukrainian flag, Rodriguez added.

Telus later tweeted in the day that it would immediately, take out Russia TV from its channel lineup.

Shaw will no longer carry RT starting Monday.

Ukrainian-Canadians and allies are also urging Canada to send weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, expel Russian Ambassador Oleg Stepanov and recall Canadian diplomats from Moscow.

Federal ministers on Sunday left open the possibility of sending arms to Ukraine after an initial cache of guns worth $7 million was recently delivered.

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly defended the decision not to expel Stepanov or recall Canadian diplomats from Moscow, saying it was important for Canada to communicate with Russia and understand what is happening on the ground in terms of events and public sentiment.

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Among those calling for Canada to revoke RT’s broadcasting licence, expel Stepanov and recall Canadian diplomats was interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen, who was one of several speakers at the rally outside the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

Bergen was at one point booed by some members of the crowd before organizers asked people to listen.

“Conservatives today are standing with our government, with all Canadians in the push against Putin,” Bergen told the hundreds of protesters, many wearing the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine and carrying Ukrainian flags or placards critical of the Russian leader.

Rogers is the parent company of CityNews.


– With files from Nikitha Martins

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