GUNTER: No end in sight to Liberal spending

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Last year’s federal budget gave the CBC an extra $21 million “to ensure its stability during the pandemic.” And last week’s fall fiscal update from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave CBC yet another $42 million (on top of its annual taxpayer grant of nearly $1.3 billion) “to help CBC/Radio-Canada recover from the pandemic.”

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That’s an additional $63 million to Mother Corp just because of COVID.

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For what? The corporation’s hopefully biased coverage of the truckers at the Freedom Convoy?

Or maybe the CBC’s earned that extra $63 million in recognition of its lickspittle coverage of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily news conferences from Rideau Cottage during the early months of the pandemic.

Whatever the cause, into this happy little you-scratch-our-backs, we’ll-scratch-yours Liberal-CBC love affair comes the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) and their skillful use of freedom of information.

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According to an access application filed by the CTF, during the first two years of the pandemic the CBC awarded bonuses and pay raises to employees totaling $51 million.

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It seems to me, all the Liberals have done with the $63 million in added taxpayer funding to the CBC is underwrite two years of bonuses and raises given to CBC executives and. This wasn’t about the pandemic. It was about padding some of what are already the richest salaries in Canadian broadcasting.

The average bonus works out to $14,200 a year, while the CTF calculates the average pay raise was about $1,800.

The average raise is not outrageous — $150 a month. The bonuses are closer to $1,200 a month, which for an average Canadian worker is the equivalent of one extra bi-weekly paycheque each month.

The problem, even with the raises, though, it that they were given out using taxpayer money at a time when hundreds of thousands of taxpayers were losing their jobs and businesses. Why should be comfortable workers for the state broadcaster receive hefty bonuses and pay increases when the people paying those bonuses are struggling? Especially since taxpayers have no choice but to pay up.

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This is yet another example of how out of touch the Liberals and their elitist chums are with the day-to-day existence of ordinary Canadians.

It’s like Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s “Let them Eat Netflix” moment last week.

When trying to think of a personal budget cut she had made, “as a wife and mother,” the only one Freeland could come up with was canceling the family’s monthly subscription to the streaming service Disney+.

Really, you have Canadians waiting in line at food banks because of sore inflation your government caused on groceries, gasoline, housing and just about everything else. Others are choosing between gas and milk, and the best personal sacrifice you can think up is canceling Disney+?

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What makes this doubly out of touch is Freeland claims to have chosen Disney to cancel because she said her kids were too old for Disney, as if the service were only cartoons and family flix. But as the service with the Star Wars catalogue, Marvel movies and the 20th Century Fox library, Disney subscriptions now rival those of Netflix among adults under 40.

Then there’s the $6,000-a-night hotel room in London that someone, likely the PM, occupied during the Queen’s funeral. And the Governor General’s junket to Dubai with 44 others at a cost of roughly $29,000 per person. (Another access to info find by the Taxpayers.)

The Liberals are acting like our ruling class and not the representatives of ordinary citizens.

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