Thursday, September 20, 2012

Maybe all their lawyers were sick at the same time with "musculoskeletal problems!"

Absentiessm rife at CBC
Brian Lilley/Parliamentary Bureau
Monday, September 17, 2012
CBC headquarters in Downtown Toronto

OTTAWA — Canadians paid nearly $18 million in one year for CBC employees who failed to show up to work.

A report prepared for CBC's board of directors — which QMI Agency obtained through Access to Information — shows CBC workers were absent almost twice as often as private sector workers in fiscal year 2010-2011.

According to the document, CBC employees were absent from work an average of 16.5 days. Statistics Canada figures in the report show public sector workers took an average of 12.6 days off while private sector workers took 8.9 days.

The total cost to taxpayers for absenteeism at the state broadcaster was $17.7 million for the year.

The report cites mental disorders as the leading cause of absenteeism (31% of all short-term absences and 44.6% of all long-term absences). The second leading cause was listed as "musculoskeletal problems."
CBC with 22 lawyers spent almost $900Gs on outside help to fight lawsuit

Brian Lilley
/QMI Agency
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Credits: Sun News Network

OTTAWA - Despite having 22 lawyers on staff, CBC spent close to $900,000 on top-flight lawyers from an outside firm to fight a lawsuit that could have been settled with an apology.

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, (emphaisis ours) one of the top lawyers in Canada.

Guy "The Cat" Pratte in happier times


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