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CBC CEO Catherine TaitCBC News / YouTube

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(LifeSiteNews) — CBC/Radio-Canada has announced it will be cutting 10 percent of its workforce as it faces a $125 million budget shortfall, despite receiving massive government subsidies.

On December 4, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s public radio and television broadcaster, announced that it must lay off about 600 workers, approximately 10 percent of its staff, over budget concerns. The cuts come amid polling figures that show Canadians have an increasingly low trust in mainstream media, but also at a time when government subsidies for the mainstream media continue to rise.    

“CBC/Radio-Canada is not immune to the upheaval facing the Canadian media industry,” President and CEO Catherine Tait said in a press release. “We’ve successfully managed serious structural declines in our business for many years, but we no longer have the flexibility to do so without reductions.”

“We understand how concerning this is to the people affected and to the Canadians who depend on our programs and services,” she continued. “We will have more details in the months ahead, but we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact of these measures.”  

In a follow-up interview on the CBC, Tait further said it was “too early to say” if she would give $16 million to executives in bonuses like the government-funded corporation did last year. 

The irony of laying off workers while potentially giving executives bonuses was not lost on Canadians, especially Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre who wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, ” The head of the CBC won’t commit to cancelling end-of-year executive bonuses while she lays off 600 workers just weeks before the holidays.” 

“Did she forget to mention she got a $60,000 PAY RAISE in July?” he questioned.  

The cuts include eliminating about 200 currently vacant positions at the CBC. Additionally, the CBC will lay off about 250 workers, most of whom work in the Technology & Infrastructure and other corporate divisions. The changes are scheduled to take effect within the next 12 months.   

Furthermore, the CBC plans to reduce its English and French programming budgets by cutting episodes of existing shows and digital original series, in addition to new television series.   

The CBC’s announcement comes just weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government announced increased payouts for legacy media outlets ahead of the 2025 election. The subsidies are expected to cost taxpayers $129 million over the next five years. 

Beginning in 2019, Parliament changed the Income Tax Act to give yearly rebates of 25 percent for each news employee in cabinet-approved media outlets earning up to $55,000 a year, to a maximum of $13,750. 

However, the Canadian Heritage Department has since admitted that the payouts are not sufficient to keep legacy media outlets running. Accordingly, the Trudeau government doubled the rebates to a maximum of $29,750 annually, up to 35 percent of a journalist’s salary. 

Last week, the Trudeau government announced a deal with Google to publish Canadian news under the recently passed Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18. Under the new agreement, Google will pay legacy media outlets $100 million to publish links to their content on both the Google search engine and YouTube. 

As a result of both the recent subsidies and the Google agreement, roughly half the salary of a journalist earning $85,000 is estimated to be paid by the combined contributions of the Trudeau government and Google. 

Furthermore, despite being nominally unaffiliated with either political party in Canada, the CBC receives massive funding from the Trudeau government. According to its 2020-2021 annual report, the CBC takes in about $1.24 billion in public funding every year, which is roughly 70 percent of its operating budget. 

However, the massive payouts are apparently insufficient to keep CBC afloat, amid growing distrust in mainstream media. 

According to a recent study by Canada’s Public Health Agency, less than a third of Canadians displayed “high trust” in the federal government, with “large media organizations” as well as celebrities getting even lower scores.  

Large mainstream media outlets and “journalists” working for them scored a “high trust” rating of only 18 percent. This was followed by only 12 percent of people saying they trusted “ordinary people,” with celebrities garnering only an eight percent “trust” rating.  

Indeed, many Canadians celebrated the CBC’s announcement, including People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier who wrote on X, “Great news. This means less government-funded woke propaganda and disinformation.”  

“Now we should get rid of all the government funding, for both the CBC and the other media outlets,” he added.   

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