CBC bonuses total $15 million in 2023

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2024/03/12

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation gave out $14.9 million in bonuses in 2023, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

This comes on the heels of a CBC announcement in December 2023, just weeks before Christmas, that the public broadcaster was planning to lay off hundreds of employees.

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

“CBC President Catherine Tait is wrong to hand out bonuses while announcing hundreds of job losses and begging the government for more taxpayer cash,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Tait won’t do the right thing, so Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge needs to step in and shut down these bonuses.” 

All told, 1,143 CBC staffers took a bonus in 2023, costing taxpayers $14,902,755. That number could climb even higher as the records indicate the data is up to date "as of Oct. 26, 2023."

“[Bonus] pay… is a key part of the total compensation of our non-union staff, about 1,140 employees,” Tait recently told a parliamentary committee. 

Tait was called to testify at the committee in January 2024 on executive bonuses and planned layoffs at the public broadcaster. 

The CBC also dished out $11.5 million in raises (to date) for the 2023-24 fiscal year, with 6,575 employees taking a pay bump, representing 87 per cent of its workforce, according to separate access-to-information records obtained by the CTF. There were no pay cuts. 

The CBC has rubberstamped $97 million in pay raises since 2015.

There are now 1,450 CBC staffers taking home a six-figure salary, according to access-to-information records obtained by the CTF. 

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power in 2015, the number of CBC employees taking a six-figure annual salary has spiked by 231 per cent.

Following Tait’s committee appearance, during which she claimed the public broadcaster was subject to “chronic underfunding,” the federal government announced it was increasing funding to the CBC by 96.1 million

The CBC will receive $1.4 billion in taxpayer funding for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

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.”

“Tait should be taking a pay cut and ending bonuses,” Terrazzano said. “It’s time for the government to end the taxpayer-funded bonuses at the CBC.”

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