Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to spend more taxpayer dollars on the CBC while the crown corporation’s advertising revenues are on terminal decline. 

The latest drop in advertising revenue was first revealed by Blacklock’s Reporter on Thursday. According to CBC’s latest Annual Report presented before Parliament, the broadcaster’s advertising revenue fell by 10% in 2020-21. 

In his mandate letter to newly-appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez, Trudeau tasked the cabinet member with providing “additional funding” to the public broadcaster which is already subsidized by Canadians to the tune of $1.2 billion. 

Specifically, Trudeau directed Rodriguez to provide “additional funding to make (CBC) less reliant on private advertising, with a goal of eliminating advertising during news and other public affairs shows.” 

According to public financial disclosures, taxpayer funding makes up the vast majority of CBC’s revenue, accounting for nearly 71.2%. 

The CBC has long struggled to find revenue sources outside of government. Both viewers and advertising dollars are tuning out, and the broadcaster consistently reports financial losses.

In the last year, the Crown corporation saw a decline from $219.9 million to $198.7 million in ad funds. This follows an 18% loss in revenue the previous year that amounted to $204.8 million. 

“Revenue from television advertising decreased for both CBC and Radio-Canada by $21.2 million driven by the sustained impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand for Canadian TV advertising,” CBC management wrote. 

During the 2021 federal election, the Liberals pledged an additional $400 million in taxpayer funds to the CBC, which would bring the total amount of public funding to a whopping $1.6 billion. 

In April, Canadian Heritage had said the network was under “immense pressure” with regard to its finances. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges of covering it put immense pressure on CBC’s workforce, operations, finances and systems,” said the April 20 briefing note Funding Support For The CBC.