CBC management gave its employees nearly $12 million in raises and $15.4 million in bonuses in 2021 – all the while claiming it was under “immense pressure” during the pandemic and pleading for more government funding.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, access to Information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) confirmed the pay hikes and bonuses even as cabinet approved the CBC for another bailout.

“It’s not fair to ask struggling taxpayers to pay higher taxes so the taxpayer-funded CBC can give itself millions in bonuses and pay raises during a pandemic,” said federal director of the CTF Franco Terrazzano.

“If it has enough money lying around to hand out millions in bonuses and pay raises during a pandemic, then taxpayers have every right to question why the CBC is taking so much money from us.”

Despite receiving a $1.5 billion annual grant from the federal government, the CBC has constantly reported decreasing revenues. 

In the first quarter of 2020, the CBC reported a $15 million decrease in revenue and $10 million increase in government funding as compared to the first quarter of the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The second quarter saw a further decrease in revenue by $10 million and $4 million decrease in government funding. 

To compensate for repeated years of declining ad revenue, the CBC has repeatedly asked Parliament for more funding. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges of covering it put immense pressure on CBC’s workforce, operations, finances and systems,” said an April 20, 2021 cabinet briefing on Funding Support For The CBC.

This isn’t the first time the state broadcaster has rewarded its employees while reporting lagging revenues.

The CBC paid $30 million in Covid bonuses to over 1000 employees amounting to roughly $15,000 each in 2020 and 2021, even though the state broadcaster reported draining ad revenue and a lack of funding from the government at the time.

“It is tone deaf for the CBC to hand out pay raises and bonuses while many taxpayers and workers in the private sector took pay cuts and lost their jobs,” said Terrazzano.