Credits: SUN NEWS NETWORK
OTTAWA - The CBC will cost taxpayers $55 million less, if the federal government follows through with budget plans laid out Thursday.
That's a trim of about 5% of the state broadcaster's core funding spread out over three years.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also won't renew a temporary $60 million top-up the CBC received last year to fund Canadian television content.
Gregory Thomas, national director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says the cut amounts to an "accounting" game, but he's still happy to see the CBC get less from taxpayers.
"I think $115 million is easily doable for the CBC and it's a pale shadow of the Chretien-Martin cuts," Thomas said, referring to the cuts the Liberal government made in the 1990s.
Despite his party's history of CBC cuts, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae says the Tories "singled out the CBC for special punishment."
The NDP's Robert Chisolm isn't happy either.
"This government has put a mark on the CBC," Chisolm said, adding that Quebecor, which owns the Sun newspapers and has critically examined the CBC, might have inspired the budget pruning.
Among the federal departments taking the biggest budget hits is the finance department, which sees an almost 17% reduction.
Much of those savings will come through elimination of the penny.
The transport department will lose almost 11% of its funding, with the biggest reduction going to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
VIA Rail is also expected to save almost $20 million over three years by reducing maintenance costs and automating ticketing and invoicing systems.