Credits: SUN NEWS NETWORK
As has previously been reported, CBC's legal costs to defend a lawsuit brought by filmmakers Claude Fournier and Marie-Jose Raymond topped $1 million. But new documents released by the state broadcaster show the legal firm Borden, Ladner, Gervais billed $871,769.03 for its services.
Fournier and Raymond sued the state broadcaster in 2005 for $4.3 million after one of its executives told journalists he thought the co-produced miniseries about Quebec singer-songwriter Felix Leclerc was "the worst he'd ever seen on TV," among other remarks.
CBC eventually lost the lawsuit and paid the filmmakers $200,000 in damages, which drove the total cost well over $1 million.
The three-year legal ordeal could have been wrapped up if CBC executives had uttered a simple phrase: We're sorry.
"If you imagine a public apology would have been enough, you realize the public purse could have saved over a million," Fournier told QMI Agency in May when word of the total cost leaked out.
In addition to having 22 lawyers on staff, CBC also has three paralegals. Rather than using lawyers already on the payroll, CBC dinged taxpayers more by securing the services of Guy Pratte, one of the top lawyers in Canada.