CBC approves more bonuses for 1,200 staff

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2024/07/09

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation approved future bonuses for its executives and non-unionized staff, according to the state broadcaster’s latest annual review.

On June 25, the CBC quietly published a notice on its website announcing the approval of another round of bonuses, less than a week after the latest parliamentary session ended.

The bonuses are for work done in the 2023-24 fiscal year. It’s unclear at this time how much this next round of CBC bonuses will cost taxpayers. The approval of future CBC bonuses was first reported by La Presse.

“There’s no way taxpayers should be paying for another round of CBC bonuses,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “And it’s a little suspicious the CBC chose to quietly publish this news days after Parliament broke for summer and after CBC President Catherine Tait was routinely grilled by MPs on this very topic for months.”

The CBC rubberstamped $14.9 million in bonuses in 2023, according to internal documents obtained by the CTF.  The CBC cut 346 jobs during the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Since 2015, the CBC has handed out $114 million in bonuses.

In its strategic plan, the CBC lists five vague “key performance indicators” that trigger bonuses for staff. The CBC says its “annual report, with comprehensive reporting of the 2023-24 [KPI] results, will be available to the public later this summer.”

Among the accomplishments the CBC cites to justify future bonuses, is the fact that among Canadians who use its digital services, “each unique visitor… spends 37.6 minutes every month” on its website – an average of less than 90 seconds per day.

A total of 1,194 non-unionized CBC staff have been approved to receive another bonus.

Tait’s annual pay is between $472,900 and $623,900, which includes salary, bonus and other benefits, according to the CBC’s senior management compensation summary. 

In 2014, Tait’s predecessor, Hubert Lacroix, told a Senate committee his annual bonus was “around 20 per cent.”

Even the state broadcaster acknowledged “the views expressed by some that [bonuses] should not be awarded … in times of financial pressures and associated workforce reductions.”

“As a result … [the CBC] is launching a comprehensive review of the Corporation’s compensation regime, including [bonuses],” according to the annual review. “This review will be conducted by a third-party human resources consulting firm.”

It remains unclear at this time how much this third-party review will cost taxpayers.

“The CBC doesn’t need to waste more tax dollars reviewing its bonus scheme, it needs to end the bonuses for good,” Terrazzano said. “If Tait isn’t willing to do the right thing, then the heritage minister, finance minister or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must step in and stop these taxpayer-funded bonuses.”

The CBC will take $1.4 billion in taxpayer cash this year, an all-time high. The federal government also gave the CBC a $42-million funding top-up in Budget 2024 after Tait complained the state broadcaster is subject to “chronic underfunding.”

A Note for our Readers:

Is Canada Off Track?

Canada has problems. You see them at gas station. You see them at the grocery store. You see them on your taxes.

Is anyone listening to you to find out where you think Canada’s off track and what you think we could do to make things better?

You can tell us what you think by filling out the survey

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter

Hey, it’s Franco.

Did you know that you can get the inside scoop right from my notebook each week? I’ll share hilarious and infuriating stories the media usually misses with you every week so you can hold politicians accountable.

You can sign up for the Taxpayer Update Newsletter now

Looks good!
Please enter a valid email address

We take data security and privacy seriously. Your information will be kept safe.