Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Federal budget pledges $675-million in CBC funding

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. will get a $150-million boost to its bottom line after enduring years of deep cuts, as Tuesday's federal budget earmarked cash to help drive the public broadcaster's continuing shift to digital platforms.

A $675-million pledge by the Liberal government – which includes $75-million in new funds for the rest of this fiscal year followed by an extra $150-million annually through 2021 – is the anticipated centrepiece of an array of new cultural spending totalling nearly $1.9-billion over the next five years.

But the increased funding may come with strings attached. While Tuesday's budget promises the government is "reinvesting and re-engaging" with the public broadcaster to ensure its "long-term sustainability," it also requires that the CBC work with government "to develop a five-year accountability plan," the details of which are not yet clear.

Story continues below advertisement

"We are humbled by this important support," Hubert Lacroix, the CBC's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The increase in the CBC's budget more than reverses a $115-million annual funding cut imposed by the previous Conservative government, which contributed to budget shortfalls at the CBC. Faced with a major revenue gap, the broadcaster cut 657 jobs in April of 2014, then returned two months later with a five-year plan to slash another 1,000 to 1,500 staff by 2020.

That same strategy envisioned a smaller broadcaster that would aim to sell some of the corporation's valuable real estate, scale back local evening newscasts and in-house documentary-making, and shift resources from television and radio to mobile-friendly digital content.

Now, the CBC is promising to "reinvest in key areas important to Canadians, and in new digital jobs," but will wait to give further details on its plans in the coming weeks.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Banking Reporter

James Bradshaw is banking reporter for the Report on Business. He covered media from 2014 to 2016, and higher education from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, he worked as a cultural reporter for Globe Arts, and has written for both the Toronto section and the editorial page. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨