A long-time CBC investigative journalist and host has quit after over 30 years with the broadcaster due to failed remote work negotiations, she disclosed in a note sent to colleagues.
Gillian Findlay, the host of the CBC investigative program The Fifth Estate, shared the news that she’s parting ways with the broadcaster on Twitter last Friday.
“Mountains of gratitude to colleagues, mentors, audiences (both TV and radio) and especially the many, many over the years who trusted me to tell their stories,” she tweeted on Friday. “It was a privilege and an honour.”
So folks, some news: after more than 30 years today is my last at the CBC. Mountains of gratitude to colleagues, mentors, audiences (both TV and radio) and especially the many, many over the years who trusted me to tell their stories. It was a privilege and an honour. ❤️
— Gillian Findlay (@GillianCBCfifth) April 14, 2023
Her replies were flooded with congratulations and gratitude for the work she has done over the decades.
Findlay has led dozens of investigations into important issues including lottery fraud, child abuse, medical malpractice, and police misconduct.
Many wondered if her departure was “by choice and not a sudden necessity.”
I hope this is by choice and not a sudden necessity. You deserve to enjoy your time after all the hard work put in to finding the truth. Thank you for your dedication.
— Emily (@CheepAndEvilGrl) April 15, 2023
On Saturday, the former CBC host revealed more details about why she quit.
“To those who have asked if this was on my own terms… the sad answer is no. Details are confidential but a discussion over remote work became a dispute about equal treatment,” tweeted Findlay.
the sad answer is no. details are confidential but a discussion over remote work became a dispute about equal treatment. Leaving on principle was a hard way to go BUT – AND THIS IS IMPORTANT… 2/4
— Gillian Findlay (@GillianCBCfifth) April 15, 2023
She added that leaving on principle was hard but that none of that has diminished her belief in public service journalism.
While Findlay couldn’t share the full story about her departure, former CBC Radio producer Talin Vartanian tweeted a thread sharing the thank-you letter Findlay sent to colleagues.
“I am leaving the CBC because I have been unable to negotiate a remote work arrangement that is acceptable to me or in keeping with arrangements afforded peers,” reads an excerpt of the letter shared by Vartanian.
“I can’t speak to why that is. I can only say that staying and accepting what I believe is inequitable treatment — especially after so many years — is something I cannot do.”
“I regret this outcome, not least because this leaves The Fifth Estate — for the first time in its nearly 50-year history — without a permanent female host,” reads the excerpt.
Vartanian also added that for years, a male host at the investigative program allegedly had the kind of remote work arrangement Findlay was denied.
In an email to Daily Hive, Findlay says she can confirm she sent a note to colleagues explaining why she left, but cannot confirm the information about the male host that Vartanian included in her thread.
“I regret this outcome, not least because this leaves The Fifth Estate – for the first time in its nearly 50 year history – without a permanent female host.”
For years, a male host @cbcfifth has had exactly the kind of work arrangement Gillian was denied. 3/5
— Talin Vartanian (@CitizenTalin) April 16, 2023
A CBC spokesperson told Daily Hive in an email that they were “sorry to lose Gillian when she chose to retire.”
Daily Hive asked why the company wasn’t able to give Findlay a remote work arrangement that was allegedly similar to her peers.
“As a publicly funded institution, we cannot continue to cover extra travel expenses when an employee chooses to move to another province and where travel to the main production center is required for their work,” answered the spokesperson.
Findlay says she cannot comment on the details included in this statement.
This isn’t the first time a CBC host has left the broadcaster.
Last year, a Canadian reporter left her job at CBC Vancouver after working there for just two years due to burnout. And it’s happening at other media organizations, too.
Earlier this year a popular Breakfast Television host quit after 16 years because of burnout.