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Liberals give the CBC a free pass on pension solvency payments

A staff memorandum to Rodriguez recommended he confirm he has “no objection to the corporation reducing its solvency payment.”

The federal government has been letting the CBC off the hook with their employee pension solvency payments.

The most recent waiver for the payments was signed off by former Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez on August 21, 2019.

A staff memorandum to Rodriguez recommended he confirm he has “no objection to the corporation reducing its solvency payment.” 

A solvency deficit for the CBC pension plan means it would not be able to pay all of its promised benefits to its employees if it was accessed all at once. 

However, according to Blacklock’s Reporter, Canada’s broadcaster has failed to make the minimum payments outlined in the Pension Benefits Standards Act since 2012. 

According to CBC Pension Board CEO Duncan Burrill, the plan has been paying out more than it was taking in as contributions. 

In the corporation’s 2019 Annual Report, the CBC listed a whopping pension deficit of $123.6 million.

This revelation is the latest in a series of red flags surrounding the state broadcaster’s financial wellbeing. 

The CBC’s 2019 report also revealed just how far viewership and ad revenue have fallen over the past few years. 

Since 2018, their English television ad revenue fell by 37%, while its share of the market fell to 5%. Only 0.8% of Canada’s population tunes in to watch the CBC’s evening news broadcasts.

Despite the crown corporation’s poor performance, the Trudeau government has pledged to reward them with further funding on top of the $1.2 billion in taxpayer funding it receives already. 

Liberal Heritage and Multiculturalism Minister Steven Guilbeault announced late last year that CBC News would be eligible for even further funding for its local news programs.

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