Home Politics CBC set for budget boost despite executives’ claims of looming cut – National

CBC set for budget boost despite executives’ claims of looming cut – National

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CBC set for budget boost despite executives’ claims of looming cut – National

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Canada’s public broadcaster is getting an increase in funding, despite executives insisting that a request to cut CBC/Radio-Canada’s budget for the next fiscal year was one reason they announced layoffs for 10 per cent of staff.

Documents Canadian Heritage released on Thursday show CBC will get a $1.4-billion budget in 2024-25, an increase from the $1.3 billion it spent in the previous fiscal year.

It’s about a $90-million increase, documents say.

The broadcaster announced in December it would cut 800 jobs and $40 million from its production budget because of a $125-million projected shortfall for the coming fiscal year, which begins on April 1.


Click to play video: 'Heritage minister says media sector facing ‘significant crisis’ as CBC lays off 10% of workforce'


Heritage minister says media sector facing ‘significant crisis’ as CBC lays off 10% of workforce


A CBC spokesperson previously said that about $11 million of that shortfall would come as a result of an expected 3.3 per cent budget cut.

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The broadcaster did not immediately respond to questions about how its calculations could shift now that it is not just avoiding cuts, but getting an influx of new money.

On top of the new government funding, CBC is expected to get $7 million from Google, following the company’s deal with Ottawa to support news organizations and avoid regulation under the Online News Act.

Executives insisted earlier this year that the job cuts were coming in part because the government asked them to cut 3.3 per cent from their budget.


Click to play video: 'CBC CEO Catherine Tait faces tough questions on bonus pay for executives'


CBC CEO Catherine Tait faces tough questions on bonus pay for executives


President and CEO Catherine Tait and Shaun Poulter, executive director of strategy, public affairs and government relations, said in January they were expected to plan for that cut.


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“We were told to budget a 3.3 per cent cut, and that’s what we’ve done,” Poulter said after a parliamentary committee hearing in January.

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But the Treasury Board, which oversees spending in the federal budget, said there was no such directive.

Instead, departments, agencies and Crown corporations were asked to report on how such a cut could affect them. This, Canadian Heritage said, was only an “exercise” handed out across the board — and not an indication of where cuts would actually be made.


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“I’ve said right from the beginning that the reallocation decision for CBC/Radio-Canada was still pending,” said Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge in a statement on Thursday.

“Our government’s objective isn’t to jeopardize the vital role of CBC/Radio-Canada, when it’s a critical time to keep Canadians connected and informed from coast to coast to coast.”

The Treasury Board announced Thursday that CBC is not on the list of government bodies whose funds are being reallocated as part of the government’s belt-tightening exercise.

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The public broadcaster said last month that about 100 positions had already been cut, including about 50 on the CBC side, 40 at Radio-Canada and 10 corporate jobs.

But the president of the union that represents CBC employees, Annick Forest of the Canadian Media Guild, said most of the cuts were expected after the current fiscal year ends on March 31.

Tait has faced pressure from MPs across all major federal parties in recent months over her decision not to rule out bonuses for executives — or for herself — despite the looming cuts.

That includes Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, who has called for Tait to be “shown the door.”

Ottawa repurposing $10.5B to hike spending on health care, housing over 3 years

Treasury Board President Anita Anand says the federal government will repurpose $10.5 billion from the budgets of 69 departments, agencies and Crown corporations in order to hike investments in health care and housing.

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The details are contained in the government’s main spending estimates, tabled in the House of Commons this morning.

The main estimates outline how much money departments and agencies are being allocated for the coming fiscal year, not including new spending that could be announced in the spring budget.

Anand is also offering an update on how the government is doing to meet a promise to shift money away from things like travel and outside consultants.

Almost one-quarter of the funds being repurposed next year are coming out of the Department of National Defense.

But documents show the department is also in line to get an increase of more than $2.5 billion compared with what it was allocated last year.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press



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