CTF launches legal challenge against CBC

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2024/05/27

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation launched a legal challenge against the CBC as the public broadcaster continues to stonewall the release of senior executive bonuses. 

“As a matter of principle, the CBC owes transparency to the taxpayers who pay their salaries,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “The CBC is also required to follow access to information law, but in this case, they’re blatantly breaking it.” 

Lawyers representing the CTF filed the legal challenge with the Office of the Information Commissioner to force the CBC to disclose how much its seven senior executives took in bonuses last year. 

On March 11, the CTF filed an access-to-information request seeking details on the compensation paid out to the CBC’s seven senior executives in 2023, including bonuses. 

On April 9, the CBC issued a 30-day extension notice. 

As a result of the extension, the public broadcaster was required to release the records on May 10, just days after CBC President Catherine Tait testified to a parliamentary committee on May 7. 

On May 10, the CBC released a record showing its seven senior executives took home $3,793,000 in total compensation – an average of more than $540,000 a piece. 

But the record did not reveal how much of that compensation was bonus pay.

CBC handed out $15 million in bonuses to 1,143 staff in 2023 despite announcing hundreds of layoffs and requesting more money from taxpayers. 

Crown corporations like the Bank of Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation have provided bonus information for their executives in response to access-to-information requests from the CTF.

In a statement to the CTF’s lawyers, the CBC confirmed they have the requested bonus information, but are refusing to release it. 

“Tait seems to think she’s above the law and shouldn’t have to show the same transparency her journalists demand from politicians,” Terrazzano said. “If Tait thinks she deserves her bonus, she should be honest with taxpayers about how much she took.

“Taxpayers have every right to know how much CBC senior executives took from them in bonuses last year. One way or another, the CTF will drag this information into the light.” 

The OIC is the body responsible for investigating complaints and resolving disputes related to the federal access-to-information system.

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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