Canada’s state broadcaster will get an additional $90 million in funding next year from the Trudeau government, despite declining revenue, viewership and laying off 10% of its staff.

For the 2024-25 fiscal year, CBC will receive approximately $1.4 billion, up from $1.3 billion last year, according to documents from Canadian Heritage. 

CBC announced that it would be laying off 800 people from the network in December because of a projected shortfall of $125 million in April 2024, the beginning of the next fiscal year. 

A CBC spokesperson said that $11 million of that shortfall was part of a projected 3.3% budget cut, according to CTV News

In addition to the increased funding from the Trudeau government, CBC will also receive $7 million from Google as part of the newly introduced Online News Act, which requires tech giants to compensate Canadian news outlets for content posted on their platforms. 

CBC executives claim that they were told to cut their budget by 3.3% by the government earlier this year. 

“We were told to budget a 3.3 per cent cut, and that’s what we’ve done,” said CBC President and CEO Shaun Poulter in January following a parliamentary committee hearing.

However, the Treasury Board, responsible for reviewing spending in the federal budget, said that no such directive was given to the broadcaster. 

“I’ve said right from the beginning that the reallocation decision for CBC/Radio-Canada was still pending,” said Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge in a statement on Thursday.

“Our government’s objective isn’t to jeopardize the vital role of CBC/Radio-Canada, when it’s a critical time to keep Canadians connected and informed from coast to coast to coast.”

According to CBC’s third-quarter report from 2022-23, viewership dropped to 4.4% during its national prime-time slot, down from 7.6% in 2018.

CBC confirmed that they had already cut 100 positions,including 50 on the CBC production side and 40 on Radio-Canada, as well as 10 corporate positions. 

News of the additional funding comes on the heels of CBC President Catherine Tait announcing executives will still receive bonuses despite the cuts made to other departments. 

The decision to give bonuses to executives earned Tait the top spot on the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Naughty List, an annual ranking of public officials accused of squandering public funds. 

Tait was forced to defend her position as CEO before the House of Commons Heritage Committee earlier this year, particularly over the state broadcaster’s supposed role in combating disinformation during a time of substantial loss of trust from the public.

“The public broadcaster remains the single most effective tool that we have as Canadians to combat this disinformation. We are the only national media company in the country,” said Tait at the hearing in January.

Conservative MP Rachael Thomas was the first to press Tait on the CBC’s decline, questioning whether she deserves a bonus.

Thomas pointed out that under Tait’s leadership, CBC’s trust in the media has declined, viewership has halved, ad revenue dropped by 31%, and more than 100 correction notices have been issued in the last two years.