Numbers also show $12,505,938 was paid out as raises to 6,232 CBC employees last year — roughly 80% of the broadcaster’s workforce
OTTAWA — Employees of Canada’s national broadcaster were paid more than $16 million in bonuses last year, according to new documents uncovered by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
The documents, obtained through an access to information request, show $16,052,148 in bonuses was handed out to 1,142 full-time CBC employees. That works out to around $14,000 per employee, on average.
Numbers provided by the taxpayers federation also show $12,505,938 was paid out as raises to 6,232 CBC employees last year — roughly 80 per cent of the broadcaster’s workforce.
No details were provided on which employees received bonuses.
Since 2015, the CBC has handed out $99 million in bonuses to its employees, the taxpayers federation reported — a trend that has steadily increased.
Employee bonuses hovered around the $8-million mark until 2017, when that number ballooned to $13.3 million.
In 2019, $14.3 million in bonuses was paid out to employees, followed by $15 million in 2020 and $15.4 million in 2021.
Franco Terrazzano, the federal director of the taxpayers federation, said Canadian taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for pricey bonuses.
“Canadians are missing meals while many CBC staffers aren’t even missing bonuses,” Terrazzano said.
“The CBC should stop handing out bonuses and stop taking so much money from taxpayers.”
The combined cost of both raises and bonuses totalled $184,902,340 since 2015.
A CBC spokesperson told the National Post at the time that the public broadcaster’s salaries are competitive with other employers, and that the corporation conducts outside monitoring to determine pay rates for non-union employees.
“It’s purpose is to encourage employee retention and to motivate employees to achieve or exceed business targets that are aligned with our strategic plan,” Mar said.
“We report on our progress in achieving these targets in our quarterly reports, which include information on our performance indicators, measurements and results.”
Reducing or even cutting off the CBC’s federal funding has long been a popular talking point for opposition parties, particularly the Conservatives.
Poilievre, on the other hand, says the billions that taxpayers pay to keep the CBC on the air could be better spent elsewhere, and he wants CBC to compete on a level playing field with competing broadcasters who largely rely on advertising to fund their coffers.
Describing the move as a “modernization,” the government is promising an additional $400 million over four years to make that happen.
In addition to the federal Conservatives, private broadcasters have also raised issues about competing against the heavily funded CBC.
“The CBC likes advertising but doesn’t need it,” Canadian Association of Broadcasters president Kevin Desjardins told the National Post last year.
“They have an ability to skew the advertising market in a way, because it is not as essential as it is for private broadcasters, where that is the lifeblood of their business model.”
“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.