March 4th, 2024

Ottawa denies it told CBC to find 3.3 per cent budget cut, as executives have claimed

By The Canadian Press on January 31, 2024.

CBC/Radio-Canada president and chief executive Catherine Tait waits to testify before a House of Commons committee in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. The federal government is denying that it told the broadcaster to cut its budget by 3.3 per cent, as some of its executives have said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The federal Liberal government is denying that it told CBC/Radio-Canada to cut its budget by 3.3 per cent, as executives with the public broadcaster have insisted.

The Treasury Board, which oversees spending in the federal budget, says no such directive was given to the public broadcaster.

CBC/Radio-Canada didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In December, the public broadcaster announced it was cutting 800 jobs and $40 million from its production budget because of a $125-million projected shortfall for the coming fiscal year.

The public broadcaster’s head, Catherine Tait, and another CBC executive, Shaun Poulter, have said part of that shortfall is because it was “told” to budget a 3.3 per cent cut.

Both Treasury Board and the Canadian Heritage Department say it’s premature to talk about cuts to the public broadcaster because the federal budget is not finalized, nor are plans on how to find billions in savings across the public service.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2024.

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