The bonuses keep going up, and the ratings keep going down.
The CBC handed out more than $16 million in bonuses to staff in 2022, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Last year, CBC management issued bonuses to 1,142 employees, for an average of $14,056 per staffer and a total cost to taxpayers of $16,052,148.
“Canadians are missing meals while many CBC staffers aren’t even missing bonuses,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “The CBC should stop handing out bonuses and stop taking so much money from taxpayers.”
In the eight years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power, the number of CBC staffers taking home an annual bonus has more than doubled, rising from 546 in 2015 to 1,142 in 2022 – an increase of 109 per cent.
The records also reveal that during the first nine months of the 2022-23 fiscal year, CBC management gave out $12.5 million in pay raises to 6,262 employees, which represents roughly 80 per cent of its workforce.
No CBC employee received a pay cut in 2022.
Since 2015, CBC management has dished out almost $185 million in bonuses and pay raises, for an average of $23 million per year. That includes $80 million in bonuses and raises since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Struggling taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for big bonuses at the CBC,” Terrazzano said. “If the CBC has enough money lying around to hand out millions in bonuses during a pandemic, then taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fork over more.”
In February, the CTF reported the number of CBC staff receiving six-figure annual salaries increased every year since 2015. There are now 220 more employees with a six-figure salary than before the pandemic.
As of the 2021-22 fiscal year, a total of 949 CBC employees are making more than $100,000 annually, for a grand total of $119.5 million.
The overall cost of the CBC has also spiked since 2015, with its annual funding from taxpayers increasing by $203 million, per its annual reports.
In 2021 alone, the CBC cost taxpayers $1.2 billion, including $21 million in “immediate operational support” to ensure its stability during the pandemic.
The federal government’s recent fiscal update allocated an additional $42 million “to help CBC/Radio-Canada recover from the pandemic,” according to the National Post.
The CBC handed out a combined $28.5 million in bonuses and pay raises to staff in 2022, which represents about 67 per cent of the latest influx of cash from the federal government.
And while the CBC continues to get its regular financial top-ups from the feds, much of the privately-owned media in Canada continues to struggle.
Last month, Postmedia Network Corporation, the largest newspaper chain in the country, announced a deep round of cuts to editorial staff, coming in at 11 per cent. Those cuts will impact nearly every Postmedia publication, including the National Post, the Vancouver Sun and the Calgary Herald.
In 2022, Bell Media slashed more than 200 journalism and support jobs in radio and TV across Canada, a move that shuttered three radio stations in Hamilton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
Meanwhile, the CBC’s workforce has grown by 7.3 per cent since Trudeau came to power, rising from 7,213 in 2015-16 to 7,743 in 2021-22.