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EDITORIAL: Another CBC double standard

Mar 1, 2014

Source: Sun News Network

The CBC transparent? Ha! You've got to be kidding us.

Yet that's what state broadcaster CEO Hubert Lacroix said at a Wednesday senate committee meeting.

Lacroix was being grilled on all sorts of challenges faced by the CBC. One of which directly involved him.

He was found to have claimed almost $30,000 in improper expenses. They were for living expenses, but CBC rules stated he wasn't eligible for them.

On top of that, he still made the claims even though he'd negotiated a $1,500 monthly living allowance to pay for hotels in Ottawa when he commutes to CBC headquarters from his Montreal home.

Here's what he had to say about this on a CBC program: "Is it embarrassing to me? Am I upset, am I angry? I mean, I've been preaching transparency since day one."

Really? If that's the case, then why have media outlets including Sun Media gone to court to try to learn basic information about how CBC spends taxpayer dollars ... and still leave without answers?

For many other taxpayer funded initiatives, all a journalist needs to do is call and ask. If that doesn't work, they file an access request.

Why don't we know how much Lacroix makes? Or Peter Mansbridge, for that matter? They're both paid by the public dime.

Lacroix answered this question by saying to the committee their industry is competitive and, besides, it would violate privacy legislation.

Well Ontario taxpayers know how much TVO broadcaster Steve Paikin is paid. It's on the sunshine list. Arms length agency employees fall under that disclosure. And the sky hasn't fallen because of it.

But don't forget this paper trail, as Brian Lilley noted in a Wednesday blog post: "It's also worth remembering that CBC knew about this double-dipping of taxpayer funds last summer. Hubie repaid in the fall. The board was given a report in October and yet CBC didn't make anything public until February after we filed an access to information request on the issue."

Wait a second? Claims improper expense rules, then repays, then says sorry ... Sound familiar?

Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin repaid their improper claims. But then they were still suspended!

So where's the outrage over Lacroix? Talk about a double standard.

© Sun News Network