Thursday, February 2, 2012

Friends of CBC on the CBC Payroll

Did you know that three members of Friends of CBC are on the CBC payroll?  Yup! That's what Canadian Taxpayers Federation found out  through Access to Information.
Amongst the many Access to Information (ATI) enquiries we make each year was this tidbit relating to the CBC. Our National Research Director, Derek Fildebrandt got to thinking about the leadership of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the group that advocates for more funding for the CBC. “What if these people are actually on the CBC’s payroll?” thought Derek.
If it were true, it would go a long way to explaining their passion for public broadcasting. And it would be very, very funny.
We finally got our answer, after a long wait. As it turns out, the situation is actually pretty funny. ATI documents show that three members of the ‘Friends’ Steering Committee actually were on the CBC payroll.
Aritha van Herk was paid to write poems and was paid $6,322. David Tars was paid to be a “reader” and was paid $277, while Stephen Kimber was paid $675 as a “freelance[r].”
These are quite small sums of money – especially in the latter two cases – however this is by no means the whole picture.  Some of the individuals refused to disclose their financial arrangements with the CBC, resulting in about 85 pages of the ATI documents being blanked out.
Those refusing to disclose their financial dealings with the CBC include the ‘Friends’ spokesperson Ian Morrison, Chairperson Noreen Golfman and members Anna-Marie Dekker, Maggie Siggins and R.H. Thomson. Somewhere in the 85 blanked out pages, at least one of these names is sure to be found.
It sort of makes you think – if your goal is to demonstrate public support for the CBC, wouldn’t you put members of the public on your board, rather than CBC contractors?
What do you think of that? More and more everyday CBC is proving unworthy of taxpayers money.  I say how about we stop subsidizing the State Broadcaster.  That way they can spend their money anyway they want just not with my money.