CBC hit by new round of budget cutbacks

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has been hit by another round of government budget cuts.

Federal Finance Minister Don Mazankowski presented a budget to the House of Commons in Ottawa Monday that promised $ C30 billion ($ 24 billion) worth of spending cuts over the next five years — and $ C250 million ($ 200 million) of those savings will come courtesy of the CBC.

Canada’s national pubcaster will have its government appropriation slashed by $ C50 million ($ 40 million) for the 1995-96 fiscal year, and it will be reduced by $ C100 million ($ 80 million) in each of the following two years.

The last major CBC cutback took place in 1991-92, when the publicly-funded corporation had its budget chopped by $ C108 million ($ 86.4 million).

At present, CBC receives slightly more than $ C1 billion ($ 800 million) from the federal government annually.

CBC exex won’t say if the cuts will cause any layoffs or program cancellations on its TV and radio networks.

‘Serious consequences’

In a note circulated to all staff members Tuesday, CBC prexy Gerard Veilleux admitted that the budget “has important and serious consequences for the CBC.”

“At this stage, it is too early to say to what degree we will have to reduce staff or take measures that will have obvious consequences at the service level, ” Veilleux said, in the prepared statement.

CBC’s news department recently inked a cost-sharing agreement with Australian pubcaster ABC, and Veilleux hinted that there may be more deals like it in the months to come.

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