Budget 2024 allocates $42 million more to CBC this fiscal year

Budget 2024 allocates  million more to CBC this fiscal year

Canada’s state broadcaster continues to milk taxpayers dry after receiving an additional $42 million in Budget 2024.

The funding follows ongoing controversy after Catherine Tait, CEO and president of CBC, lied to the House of Commons on its financial woes. She received a summons to clarify her remarks on April 9 before the Commons Heritage Committee.

It is not yet known whether Tait actually testified. 

On January 30, Tait told MPs the network “faces chronic underfunding” and had to “stretch limited resources to meet our mandate.” The broadcaster would receive $96.1 million in additional funding this year — a record $1.38 billion, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

Access To Information records disclosed March 12 by the Taxpayers Federation said the CBC paid at least $14,902,755 million in bonuses last year to 1,143 CBC staffers. That number could rise further.

“[Bonus] pay… is a key part of the total compensation of our non-union staff, about 1,140 employees,” Tait told the parliamentary committee in January. Since 2015, the state broadcaster has issued $114 million in bonuses.

Meanwhile, the federal government announced $42 million in addition to the $1.38 billion already allocated to CBC this fiscal year. That excludes the broadcaster’s commercial revenue. 

“Canadians across the country, including rural, remote, Indigenous, and minority language communities, have access to high-quality, independent journalism and entertainment,” reads the document in justification of the additional funds.

Tait called the new funding “welcomed news.” 

That followed claims of financial hardship after she sounded the alarm over a $125 million budget shortfall last year, resulting in 800 job cuts announced for December 4. They attributed the shortfall to declining subscriptions and ad revenues.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Commons Heritage Committee invited Tait to answer questions concerning $14.9 million in executive performance bonuses after announcing the corporate downsizing.

“Miss Tait actually lied to the committee here,” said Conservative MP Kevin Waugh. “She has misled Canadians. She came in here saying, ‘I need to drop 10 percent of the CBC staff,’ over 800 jobs.”

According to the Taxpayers Federation, the broadcaster spent millions more in bonuses, including $15,013,838 in 2020 to 1,034 employees and $16,052,148 the following year to 108 more employees. 

Committee MPs earlier warned executives to forgo annual bonuses to save on costs. “Given the job cuts announced at CBC for 2024 it would be inappropriate for the CBC to grant bonuses to executive members,” reads a Parliamentary report.

“This investment, together with the steps we have taken since December, means we will be able to stabilize our operations, preserve jobs and continue to invest in programs and services,” said Tait in a statement.

“Tait should be taking a pay cut and ending bonuses,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “It’s time for the government to end the taxpayer-funded bonuses at the CBC.”

In addition, the budget allocated $58.8 million for the Local Journalism Initiative over the next three years. 

“To support the production of independent, reliable, and diverse local news across the country, the government announced $58.8 million … [to] support would be available to written press, community radio and television, and online news services,” reads the budget.



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