CBC North will go off the air in bush camps in Northern Quebec on March 31.

Radio Canada International, which carries the CBC North shortwave signal, is being closed due to budget cutbacks at the CBC. That means CBC North will no longer reach Crees who are in the bush.

“We will still keep satellite transmissions so people will still hear it in the villages on FM,” said Suzanne Aubin, manager of CBC North-Quebec.

CBC North-Quebec carries a daily mix of programming from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Cree regional radio, TNI and the French and English CBC networks. Apart from James Bay, it has listeners as far away as Sept lies, Iqaluit, Moosonee and Schefferville.

Aubin said digital radio is the only hope for a return of the service. In a few years, she said, Crees in the bush will be able to buy a digital receiver and receive the signal anywhere. But digital CBC radio won’t be here before the year 2000 and the cost, at least for now, is still pretty steep.