Leaked CBC memo shows Mother Corp will ask for more cash

According to my source that sent me this unsent internal CBC memo, this was intended to hit the inboxes of CBC employees tomorrow:

(emphasis mine)

Of course, as noted, this occurs within the context of the global economic crisis. Despite this, CBC received $1.1 Billion from the taxpayer last year. According to the CRTC, CBC employs 10,200 people paying out $771,074,000 in salaries and benefits. This means that the average payout per employee at the CBC is $75,595.

Comparatively, the total numbers of employees at private broadcasters in this country is 7,402 with total salaries and benefits of $576,900,000. The average payout per employee is $77,938.

Is the CBC trimming the fat, or do they need some central planning from the government to help them do so? Months ago, it was reported that the executive VP for French-services expensed over $80,000 for travel, meals, and theatre tickets.

If any of this is making you sick, the next fact won’t make you feel any better. The CBC lost $15 million in 2006-2007 paying for 68,000 sick days for its employees.

In any self-respecting story about taxpayer abuse, there’s a no-expense-spared trip to Paris. The CBC doesn’t disappoint as that same executive VP that billed $80,000 in expenses also bought a $6,000 plane ticket to the French capital and billed over $2,000 in hotel, meal and cab expenses. Nice work if you can get it.

This lagresse is offensive when private news outlets such as Canwest and CTVGlobemedia are slashing jobs, dropping bureaus and cutting expenses. For example, CTV opted out of the Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner this year while Canwest has cut 5% of their workforce and even asked reporters and staffers to voluntarily return their cellphones because the company can’t afford to equip everyone that needs one. Jobs have also been cut at the Globe and Mail. The news business is hurting across Canada and CBC asks the government for “financial flexibility”.



  • Liz J

    CBC is has gotten used to Liberal largess. They've been their trumpet for decades. We have evidence of it from “reporters” like Susan Bonner in a previous thread here.

    It's our money, we all have to tighten our belts and that includes the CBC who are funded from the public purse.

    Anyone else feel Don Newman has become a tad less obviously biased and has started to treat Conservative MP's and Ministers with a bit more respect?
    Could the Oldies in the network be on the suck-up wagon?

  • machiavelli

    If Canada had a legitimate, small-c fiscal conservative Prime Minister, he would eradicate the far-left bias CBC. If the PM eliminated this national embarrassment Canadians would see a billion dollars of otherwise squandered tax dollars materialize in their personal bank accounts annually.

    In an age of numerous Canadian television and radio networks, satellite networks, and of course the internet, there is no longer any requisite for a government-owned, and tax payers paid for, TV and/or radio network; especially one ran by left-wing affirmative action bimbles and watched/ listened to mostly by the far-left, but paid for my people who actually work for a living and pay taxes.

  • Fay

    I have been wondering the same thing LizJ. This will end abruptly once they recieve the funding they desire.
    Sad fact is, Taxpaying Canadians are left wondering if CBC is broadcasting to inform Canadians or support Omar Khadr. My belief is they have thrown ordinary Canadians under the bus. Must be demoralizing to even work there when Canadians have lost all respect for them.

  • http://www.taxpayerfacts.blogspot.com/ Taxapayer Facts

    With little public knowledge, the CBC uses its friends in the cultural bureaucracies in Ottawa to increase its budget by over $200 million above and beyond the $ 1 billion parliamentary appropriation. The $200 million plus comes from two sources. The CRTC forces all cable and satellite TV customers (90% of households) to pay for CBC Newsworld and its French-language equivalent (RDI) whether they watch the services or not. As well, the Canadian Television Fund, which receives the majority of its funding from a hidden 5% tax on all cable and satellite TV bills, gives close to 50% of its funds to the CBC.

  • http://therightitswhereitsat.blogspot.com/ The Right

    At the very least the federal government should be cutting the CBC'S operating budget. If you ask me I think that the federal government should be looking for ways to sell this cash cow. Let the private sector deal with it. If people are worried about Canadian content of disappearing,no need to. This is precisely why we have the C.R.T.C. for. In my opinion the federal government should not be in the business of owning media organizations.

  • Cale

    this is disgusting at minimum Stephen.

    Do we have any idea how many of the CBC big-wings and decision makers contributed to the LPOC? Seems to me that a light needs to shine on that as well. It may tell another sad reality story given the continued left-leaning bias of the broadcaster.

    What a colossal waste of my money!!

    There needs to be a groundswell of corresponding going on between the public and their MPs and the other private broadcasters to level the playing field by stopping to pay CBC from my wallet!

  • Cale

    of course this sudden “less biased” approach is a suck-up.

    But how about we hold a contest, in the same way that CBC likes to do re: Hockeyville and Canada's Next PM and list all of the current TV personalities and let the people decide who to keep and who to send packing?

    Seems like the next best thing to putting on a platform.

    After all, shouldn't the people who are paying for the CBC have a say in their report cards?

  • Gabby in QC

    I am definitely not among those who call for shutting down the CBC, despite its Liberal-friendly personnel and its leftward tilt. I believe there is a place for the CBC and its French language sister Radio-Canada.

    However, why is it necessary for the CBC and Rad-Can to have 'continuous news' channels (Newsworld and RDI) that keep filling air time with the same news broadcasts over and over ad nauseam?

    For example, take The National … please! (hello, Henny Youngman)
    Why is it necessary to broadcast The National at 9, 10 and 11 o'clock every week night?
    Why is it necessary to broadcast a public affairs program like Les coulisses du pouvoir once on Rad-Can and twice on RDI, when viewers can either tape the show or watch pertinent segments online?

    If there is indeed a need for the different continuous news channels (I am not convinced), why not collapse the English and the French language ones (Newsworld and RDI) into one, share the air time, alternating between the two official languages. As a matter of fact, even the Rad-Can sports channel RDS – and its equivalent English language channel (if it exists ?) – could be collapsed into the one channel.

    There, CBC, aren't you glad I've solved your problems, at no charge? :-D

  • http://www.taxpayerfacts.blogspot.com/ Taxapayer Facts

    Further to the CBC changing its stripes:

    As a longtime listener to CBC Radio, I was startled to hear the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) being featured prominently on CBC radio over the last two days. The CTF was critizicing the proposed $10 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler. And unlike all earlier reports by the CBC on the issue, the story did not conclude with a comment from the Canadian Auto Workers claiming that the bailout was essential for Canada and that the CTF was wrong. The CTF's comments were in fact the only ones in these recent CBC stories.

    Is it just coincidence that the CBC employees were just told that their fate depended on more taxpayer money being given to them by the Conservative Government?

  • Maria

    Giving 1.1 Billion to CBC so they can skewer the PM and his team? Are PMSH and his team a bunch
    of masochists? I refrain from watching CBC for fear of getting a stroke as my temper just
    shoots up every time I see Khadr's face and the inevitable sentence at the end of their litany
    when talking about him “Khadr was just 15 years old at the time of his arrest”. I have seen
    Khadr's face on CBC more times than Mr.Harper's or any of his team members. CBC is so
    blatantly anti-COnservatives, it is unbearable to watch the station for Canadians who are. I am
    fully in agreement that there should be a balanced news coverage and criticism of the ruling
    party is healthy. However, CBC's reporting and the twisting of news to suit their Leftist views
    is simply not palatable. I have seen Peter Manning with a permanent scrowl on his face when
    interviewing our PM and grinning ear to ear when interviewing Iggy and Layton.
    The hotshots at CBC should have realized that if they were a station of integrity they would do very
    well, but I suspect a large majority of Conservatives who are news junkies have abandoned this
    channel for obvious reasons. I have many Liberal friends and very few of them are concerned with the news media and fewer of them ever watch news channels.
    Our PM and his team should stop playing nice to CBC and read them the riot act for once at least on behalf
    of 65% of the TAXPAYERS. No – I have not got that percentage wrong. Think.

  • batb

    Liz J: “Could the Oldies in the network be on the suck-up wagon?”

    Yup. I'm sure they are, but I figure it's too little, too late.

    And a question I have for the Oldies: why don't they get the H*ll out of the way and allow some new blood into the Mother Corp(se)? I'm so tired of the sinecured, mummified talking heads we see at the CBC year after year. Surely, they've got some pretty large nest eggs saved up, their mortgages paid off, etc., etc. Slurping at the public trough and not letting the new little piglets in is pretty selfish, IMO.

    On the other hand, it seems that once you get hired at the CBC, there's this idea that the party, the pay, and the perks never end.

    That's not how it works for the rest of us. The CBC needs to be called to account.

  • Gabby in QC

    Once again, I must disagree with those who're calling for shutting down the CBC. Right now, there's an ongoing tug-of-war between Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda, and Warren Kinsella. The latter is urging TVO, another publicly funded channel, in effect to order Steve Paikin never to have controversial blogger Kathy Shaidle on as a guest.

    I would be willing to bet that many of my fellow conservatives would argue that Kinsella and others like him have no right nor mandate to decide who can or cannot express their opinions on TVO, no matter how controversial those views may be, and that the provincial government should not interfere in that squabble, as Kinsella has requested.

    So, are small c/conservatives OK with shutting down the CBC because the views presented there are mostly leftist and/or anti-conservative, but against “shutting down” The Agenda, as requested by Kinsella for a similar reason?

    It seems to me that's an inconsistent position. By all means, cut the fat at the CBC, but shut it down because one doesn't like the views expressed there? NO. There's plenty of other channels one can turn to if CBC is not to one's taste. That's what the remote is for.

  • MaryT

    68,000 for sick days. Why do so many cbcers get sick, could it be from listening and writing all that garbage they spew. If these employees are so prone to sickness, let them go.
    How about the execs return all those bonuses, if they are so concerned. Cancel all overseas trips and expenses. You want a holiday, pay your own way.
    If you want more money, pledge to never show Khdar again, or Suzuki, no more expert opinion on Newman by columnists. Make the liberal party pay to have their non mps speaking for them. If they can pay for an ad at Times Sq, they can pay campaigners to appear on Newman. Keep Don Martin, Travers, all Susans off the air.
    And the govt should put in a clause re funding, if there is one instance of bias, in coverage, or body language or facial expressions, all funding will be cut, the next day.

  • machiavelli

    If Canada had a legitimate, small-c fiscal conservative Prime Minister, he would eradicate the complete far-left bias CBC. If the PM eliminated this national embarrassment Canadians would see $1.2 billion of otherwise squandered tax dollars materialize in their personal bank accounts annually.

    In an age of numerous Canadian television and radio networks, satellite networks, and of course the internet, there is no longer any requisite for a government-owned, and tax payers paid for, TV and/or radio network; especially one ran by left-wing affirmative action bimbos and watched/ listened to mostly by the far-left, but paid for my people who actually work for a living and pay taxes.

    Our left-plunging PM keeps insisting that he is expediting an asset sale program, however, to date we have not seen very many sales. If Harper was a genuine small-c fiscal conservative he would immediately eradicate or sell the complete far-left bias CBC and force the bimbos to get a real job.

  • Stan

    Neil Macdonald is definitely on the suck up wagon.
    He did an article on the US banks that positivity glowed.

    Maybe he's trying to make up for not understanding that Sarah Palin's daughter could not be 5 months pregnant AND the mother of 4 1/2 month old Trig.

    The CBC definitively wants to forget about that.
    They try to censor every comment on any thread by Macdonald that mentions his credibility after that farce.

  • maggie

    I feel that the CBC should at least make as much effort at bilingual service that CPAC does. The set up with Quebec and the ROC having separate services is not only expensive but gets in the way of communication. Its current format contributes nil. I am speaking as an immigrant and it certainly feels to me that the CBC has no interest in providing a national voice, only either French or English. Nor does it have interest in being a jumping off point for Canadian talent (regardless of language)

    Whenever English CBC refers to Quebec it is in the tone of how “quaint” and “different” they are. The fact is that there is a huge drama and movie industry in the province which the ROC knows very little about because no attempt is made to either dub or provide translation. Instead of cultivating watchable soaps the CBC imports UK ones such as Coronation Street and Eastenders.

  • Liz J

    Suffice to say, don't get me started on Neil MacDonald ! Making up is hard to do, adding sucking up to the mix complicates even further. It's all aboard the ship of No Hope.

  • Soccermom

    Gabby, the CBC can broadcast whatever the hell they want (same for Radio Canada), but do it WITHOUT OUR TAX DOLLARS!!! If there is enough of an appetite for what they are spewing, they will find the resources to broadcast it.

    Free market and all.

  • Gabby in QC

    OK, relax, didn't mean to get you riled up. But sorry to disagree, Soccermom. Many countries have a national broadcaster receiving some sort of subsidy from the government, and a country as big as Canada needs a national broadcaster more than most. Maybe we wouldn't have such pronounced regional differences and tensions if there were greater care taken to present a truly national narrative.

    It may be already too late in the 500+ channel universe, but personally, I'd rather try to improve the CBC and the service it provides, rather than give licences to one more specialty channel, be it devoted to nudie films, the intricacies of macramé, or another Al-Jazeera. The only thing that achieves is even further fragmentation of an already fragmented society.

  • Gabby in QC

    I agree with you, there should be more of an opportunity for the two official language groups to show their work to the other side.

    Where you and I may part company – unless I've misunderstood your comment – is giving more opportunity to other language groups of having their own channels. I belong to an “allophone” group, but despite that, I firmly believe that encouraging immigrants to insulate themselves within their own language groups, even to the extent of watching their own soaps from back home, only serves to ghettoize people.

    That is not the way to build a strong national identity, which until now has been defined as we Canadians are not Americans because we believe in national healthcare. Surely there's more to it than that?

  • Robert

    Shutting down the CBC is not the solution. Privatization is the cure to this problem. If CTV can successfully make a go of it, then the CBC should also. If viewers are not pleased with the bias, it will affect sponsors. Advertising revenue will always correct the problem.

  • Robert

    But, and this is a big but, this could also affect our supply of GGs.


  • batb

    Gabby in QC: “I'd rather try to improve the CBC and the service it provides …”

    I suspect that commenters on this thread wouldn't be calling for an end to the CBC IF the Mother Corpse was willing to “improve” itself by fulfilling its mandate to cover issues of importance to ALL Canadians, which would include regular commentary from both sides of the political spectrum, which very seldom happens at the CEEB. Their continual list to the left is galling, to say the least and, at worst, seems to be an attempt to sway Canadian voters to their way of thinking.

    I would like to see the CBC have to raise their own funds, the way PBS and TVO do. Then Canadian taxpayers would not be coerced into paying for a broadcast “service” they never receive and with which they often hotly disagree, while those who are satisfied with what the CBC has on offer can support them.

    Now, that would be fair, and Mansbridge, Macdonald, MacIntyre, Newman, Bonner, et al would either sink or swim on the merits of their programs, not be kept afloat by the tax dollars of often unwilling “donors.”

  • maggie

    We DO agree – actually, I am an immigrant from England!! I arrived in 1970 probably just as Big Igg was leaving Canada for the UK!!

  • the turtle

    Are we to understand from this post that the CBC/Radio-Canada employs 38% more people than all the other radio/TV broadcasters combined? That seems hard to believe.

  • westerngirl

    I no longer watch CBC for the very same reasons Maria. I get so angry listening to the crap they spew, that it's just easier not to bother. I think it's time they paid for their lack of integrity!

  • Observant

    At the very least, the CBC must either chop back or entirely eliminate the CBC Newsworld channel … it’s nothing but a Liberal goebbellian propaganda organ … filled with fatcat correspondents living high off the hog all over the world and reporting on rubbish.

    Shut down CBC Newsworld and concentrate on the main channel mostly providing art and cultural programming … with the news at 6 and 10PM without all the political propaganda.

  • Gabby in QC

    “Their continual list to the left is galling, to say the least and, at worst, seems to be an attempt to sway Canadian voters to their way of thinking.”
    That still is not a convincing argument, IMO, for shutting it down. It's up to the individual viewer to discern whether (s)he's being manipulated or not.
    If the CBC were shut down by the government because of its leftward tilt, wouldn't that be more evidence of the nanny state trying to shield its citizens from unpleasant ideas, or POVs that are not shared by all/most people?

    Again, to me it's a question of consistency. One cannot claim to believe firmly in the principle of freedom of expression, but then cringe when it's being exercised by people who don't share one's POV.

    Maybe eventually the CBC will become like the US PBS. But even PBS receives a portion of its funding from the government, albeit a much smaller portion than what the CBC receives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation_for_Pu

  • Gabby in QC

    Glad to hear I didn't misunderstand your comment.

    “I arrived in 1970 probably just as Big Igg was leaving Canada for the UK!!”
    So Canada was a two-time winner in 1970, wasn't it?

  • batb

    Gabby, the issue I’m concerned about is who is paying the way of the CBC: We, the taxpayers of Canada are, and yet we have very little say in what programs, and from what perspective, the CBC airs. They seem to be impervious to criticism (which is also freedom of expression for the rest of us — ‘fat lot of good it does us; I’ve been chiding them about their lack of balance for 30 years) and have continued to stick it to Canadians who do not share their “enlightened” views.

    That’s the issue: We all have to pay, and pay, and pay. Whenever the Mother Corp needs more money they raid OUR pockets. They don’t dig deeper into their own or seem to feel any compunction to cut back on their extravagant spending, even though the rest of us cover our own expenses and are often pinched by the end of the month. I’m tired of being the CBC’s Sugar Daddy. Let them — or their friends — be their own Sugar Daddy.

    Demanding fiscal accountability on the part of a government-funded agency is not an attack on freedom of expression. By the way, I did not suggest an end to the CBC, just another way of its being funded. If the CBC were operated the way PBS and TVO are, two birds are killed with one stone: Canadians who desire to watch the CBC will support them and those of us who choose not to watch them will neither flip our channel to the CBC nor financially support them.

    That seems fair to me.

  • Michael

    Because people who have different political views that you are obviously on welfare…

  • Michael

    Some Canadians perhaps…like the one's who support the network that doubles as a Conservative Senator grow-op.

  • Michael

    The BBC is fully taxpayer funded. I don't even think they have commercials on BBC TV, and it's widely recognized as one of the best networks and news agencies in the world.

  • Liz J

    The CBC has the taxpayers over a barrel. They boldly list to the political Liberal/ Left, spin the news to manipulate opinion and we have no recourse. We can tune them out but we still pay up. I don’t wish to pay Susan Bonner’s salary to play political games. With her last episode, I can no longer stand the sight or her. She’s right up there with Neil MacDonald who should have been fired long ago instead of being shifted about.

  • Gloria

    Wouldn't help by broadcsting to a wider audience? Instead of just radical left wing ideas why not more content that is less controversial and something we can all enjoy, not just those on teh radical left.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    I’m in the ‘privatize it’ camp, although this would be a challenge to do with its current $1.8 B annual expenses. The management have been given the best facilities, a massive budget and still have not suceeded in producing a product which has any relevance to Canadians or advertisers. The ratings across the board are extremely low and programming has failed to attract any meaningful advertising revenue.

    With advertising revenue of $330 MM; Other revenue of $238 MM; Government funding of $1,096 MM and
    Expenses of $1,731 MM, this company is absolutely worthless currently (and in any economy). I’ll bet if you backed out Hockey Night in Canada’s revenue from these numbers the results would be even more horrific.

    Since a purchaser would not receive the grant, they would be buying a company with revenues of $568 MM and expenses of $1,731 MM. Any takers? Terry?

    To privatize it would take a massive effort of shrinking to a sutainable size, with a focus on retaining advertising and getting more private donations.

    However, since we have seen the Liberal$ haven’t been able to raise much money as a party, it’s doubtful to me to think that viewer’s of the Liberal party’s unofficial communications department would open their wallets. I think they much prefer to get it complements of the taxpayer..

  • Richard

    Regardless of their biases, there is no good reason to continue funding CBC. Once upon a time, they were the only station available in rural areas, but the advent of satellite TV has made them redundant.
    Effectively, they're out there competing with CTV, it's time to pull their funding and level the playing field.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    What’s your point? The CBC is 75% taxpayer funded, but only because most advertisers have no interest in attaching it to almost any CBC show..

  • http://www.thepolitic.com Sean Calder

    Yeah, who needs the Court Challenges Program when you have the CBC?

    I believe, along with Gabby, that the CBC has its place in Canadian Media. I do not agree, however, that it should be publicly funded.

  • Gabby in QC

    You mean like Sen. Jim Munson?
    “Before working in government communications, Jim reported about government (among other things) as a journalist for close to thirty years. …
    Jim began his adventure in media in the Atlantic Provinces and in Montreal. It is during the months of the FLQ Crisis that his passion for analyzing and telling political stories was sealed. From 1971 in Ottawa, first in radio and then for CTV, he covered most election campaigns and the governments of Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. …”

    Or maybe these other senators, who also had careers in media:
    “Senator Fraser is well-known to Canadians as a journalist and commentator. …
    In addition to her vast awareness of print journalism, Senator Fraser has extensive broadcast experience on radio and television, in both English and French. …”

    “Senator Fairbairn began her career as a journalist, working and reporting for a variety of news organizations including the Ottawa Journal (1961) and the bureau of United Press International in the Parliamentary Press Gallery (1962)….”

    “Prior to her appointment to the Senate, Senator Poulin was a deputy minister in the government of Canada and a broadcast executive. …”

  • Gabby in QC

    Batb, of course you’re right when you say “Demanding fiscal accountability on the part of a government-funded agency is not an attack on freedom of expression.”

    But that is not the reasonable argument all commenters share. Time and again, here and elsewhere, there are calls for shutting down the CBC or firing some media person because of that organization’s or reporter’s bias. I think I’ve posted enough comments for you and others to know that I am a very committed conservative (donor and card membership and all – but a very private one, with NO connections whatsoever), so I’m not defending the CBC per se, or its often leftist POV.

    I’m just trying to point out the pesky argument of consistency. I cannot clamour for someone’s head to roll because that person does not share my POV.

    I know it’s a pain in the proverbial to have to pay for things we don’t agree with, or that we don’t personally use – but we do that in many other spheres. That’s the way a society functions. Or should it be that only people who have cars pay for roads and bridges built? Only those who have children, for schools? Only those who need police services?

    I’m sure you know John Donne’s “No man is an island.” There’s a lot of truth in that poem that perhaps colours my thinking in this respect.

  • ktr

    So 7402 Employees took 68000 sick days in a year according to you…that averages out to 9.1 sick days per employee. Am I supposed to be outraged by that?
    And you are complaining about the CBC getting handouts, while Harper has taxpayer money from the PMO pay CTV hundreds of thousands to air his addresses to Canadians? If the expense is necessary for taxpayer dollars, why not freakin get CBC to air his address to Canadians, so you wont need to complain as much about handouts?

  • Phillip Huggan

    I agree. Axe the clothing budget of Carole and Krista.

    Don’t be afraid to trend on the porkier side of CSCF (part of stimulus budget) funded medical equipment, at least where operating costs aren’t to high and where no shortage of operating personnel. Be doing a favour for provincial and federal politicans 5+ years down the road and could always be a card to play to demonstrate Conservative medical competence esp. to dispel overzealous privatization meme.

  • Fred

    Is anyone else offended by the expressed need to be strong in “the regions”, as if anyone outside of Toronto or Quebec lives in some appendage of Central Canada. The rot at the CBC begins with the conception that everywhere else in the country is a “region”.

  • http://www.alabamablogger.org Ricky Peterson

    “According to the CRTC, CBC employs 10,200 people paying out $771,074,000 in salaries and benefits. This means that the average payout per employee at the CBC is $75,595.”

    Above quote, great salary per month. I love it, and i really want that salary per-month


  • Observer

    Surely the taxpayer-financed voice of the liberal-leftist movement, and the “free” public cheerleader of the Liberal Party, with their new boy Ignatieff to publicly promote and fawn over, will find a way? Maybe get all those Liberal donors to donate? Oh wait, they’ve gone somewhere. LOL

  • pete e

    Your stats say that CBC employees getabout $2,500 less per year than industry average. They average 6.5 sick days per year. How does that compare?

  • bverwey

    Heard the news confirmed this morning on Corpse radio. As posted over at SDA I hope MP Moore doesn't give them a dime more. If programing cuts are initiated by the Corpse does that mean less slagging of PMSH….one can only hope.

  • Ker

    From Wednesday's Toronto Star: “A spokesperson for Heritage Minister James Moore said he was already in discussions with the CBC and indicated the door was open to help the corporation.”

    No one is blameless here.

  • Ker

    “Anyone else feel Don Newman has become a tad less obviously biased and has started to treat Conservative MP's and Ministers with a bit more respect?”

    Do you have an example of that, Liz? Because I sure don't.