Cuts and $14,9 in bonuses: the CBC scandal

TORONTO – A few months after the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) announced the cut of 800 jobs, information obtained from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and published yesterday by the National Post shows that Crown Corp has distributed 14.9 million dollars in bonuses in 2023. And since 2015, again according to the federation, the CBC has issued $114 million in bonuses. 

“CBC President Catherine Tait is wrong to hand out bonuses while announcing the loss of hundreds of jobs and asking the government for more taxpayer money” said Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) federal director Franco Terrazzano.

Like a sort of “reverse Robin Hood”, Tait effectively takes from the poor (the 800 employees being laid off) to give to the rich (herself and the members of her staff, already overpaid net of bonuses).

As the National Post writes, records show that of the 7,477 CBC employees, 1,143 staff members took home a bonus in 2023, for a total of $14,902,755. Not only that: the bonus figure is only valid until October 26, 2023, meaning the final tally for the year could be higher.

Tait, who earns $497,000 a year, told the House of Commons Heritage Committee in January that the public broadcaster faced “chronic underfunding” and had to “use limited resources to meet our mandate.” . Tait was called to testify on the bonuses to managers and the planned dismissals at the public broadcaster.

Shortly after her testimony, information obtained by the CTF and published by the National Post showed that between November 1, 2021 and November 1, 2023, Tait herself billed $119,309 in expenses, the majority of which went to participate in international conferences and meetings.

A second document obtained by the CTF shows that for the 2023-24 fiscal year, 6,575 employees received raises totaling $11.5 million, while 1,450 CBC employees make six-figure salaries. Previous access to information data obtained by the CTF shows the number of CBC employees earning a six-figure annual salary has increased 231 per cent since Justin Trudeau came to power in 2015. And after Tait’s testimony, the Department of Canadian Heritage announced that the CBC’s budget for 2024-25 will increase by $96.1 million, for a total of $1.4 billion — an increase attributed primarily to increases wages following the ratification of collective agreements.

Tait was keen to underline that the bonus is “a key part of the total remuneration of our non-union staff, approximately 1,140 employees”. For the 800 employees being laid off, however, the total remuneration will be 0 (zero).

In the pic above: Catherine Tait, president of the CBC, in an image from