CBC/Radio-Canada debunks reports it’s received $33.7M pandemic bailout

The public broadcaster is taking aim at reports it’s being granted a $33.7 million federal COVID-19 bailout.

CBC/Radio-Canada issued a press release late Monday attempting to debunk recent stories published by Blacklock’s Reporter, the Post Millennial, Rebel Media, and True North, featuring headlines like “CBC-TV Gets A Covid Bailout” and “Trudeau Liberals give failing CBC-TV bailout in midst of pandemic.”

While the reports maintain the Liberal government has crafted a pandemic bailout for CBC-TV to compensate for a dip in advertising revenue, the public broadcaster says it has received no additional funding from government and that the documents cited, and tabled in Parliament last week, reflect an internal transfer of funds from CBC/Radio-Canada’s current capital budget to its current operating budget.

“As the [Supplementary] Estimates make clear, this is an ‘Internal reallocation of resources for the COVID-19 impact to advertising revenues and operating costs,'” CBC said in the statement.

“The Estimates also show $36.7 million which CBC/Radio-Canada is seeking to advance from fiscal 2021–22 to fiscal 2020–21 in order to offset payments made on broadcast rights for the now-delayed Tokyo Olympics. These payments will not be recovered until the Olympics are held next summer and are described in the Estimates as ‘Funding for broadcasting rights for the Tokyo Olympics’. In turn, CBC/Radio-Canada’s appropriation for 2021–22 will be reduced by $36.7 million.”

The statement goes further to remind Canadians that “at $34 per Canadian, per year, CBC/Radio-Canada not only delivers incredible value, it is still one of the lowest-funded public broadcasters in the world.”

“Throughout this crisis, CBC/Radio-Canada continues to deliver essential programming to all Canadians on television, radio, and digital. It restarted its slate of Canadian programs this Fall despite considerable COVID-related costs, providing a critical lifeline to independent producers and the thousands of Canadians who work in the production industry,” the statement continued. “The corporation is also absorbing the significant costs of ensuring the health and safety of its employees while they continue their important work. This has all been done by carefully reallocating existing resources. CBC/Radio-Canada has not received additional funding since the pandemic began.”

“It is unfortunate that incorrect reporting is being used to criticize public broadcasting and CBC TV in particular. CBC/Radio-Canada has requested that these reports be corrected.”

 


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