OTTAWA - As CBC continues to cut jobs and cancel programs in the wake of budget cuts announced in March, the head honcho of the organization is defending big bonuses to senior ranks.
CBC president Hubert Lacroix was questioned recently about bonuses for top executives, which in recent years have totalled between $775,000 and just under $1 million for the 10 to 12 most senior people.
Lacroix scoffed at the question.
"Your numbers are way off," Lacroix said after speech to the Economic Club last week in Toronto.
"We have a short-term incentive plan that pays out - and it's a short-term incentive plan - that pays out according to the meeting of targets...
"We have no intention of affecting the short-term incentive plan that is available to the six of 700 managers that we have."
Yet documents released under access to information paint a different picture.
In the fiscal year ending March 2010, the last year for which figures are available, the top 10 executives split a bonus kitty of $778,799, the year before it was $888,699 and for the fiscal year ending March 2008 the top 12 executives split a bonus package of $964,860.
CBC refuses to say how much each executive received but did reveal that the top bonus for fiscal 2008-09 was $165,090 or 3.5 times the average income of a full-time Canadian worker.
That bonus was also paid out at a time when CBC was having to layoff hundreds of workers to deal with the global recession.