Business subsidies can also irritate our trading partners, threatening Canadian access to foreign markets including the U.S.
Ever wonder how Canadas net federal debt reached $671 billion by 2013? Or how net provincial debt among the provinces ended up at $509 billion that same year? Wonder no more. Its partially due to massive subsidies to corporations, government businesses and even consumers that over three decades amounted to $684 billion.
Back in late 2011 after the Occupy Wall Street protests, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne gave a speech in Toronto to decry what he called the most inane displays of greed. The reference was to behaviour he had observed while serving on various company boards over the years.
The federal government recently poured $36.3 million into the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund the first of many soon-to-come government-sponsored funds comprising Ottawas $400 million Venture Capital Action Plan. The plan, conceived with the view that Canadas lacklustre venture capital industry requires a government solution, ignores Canadian evidence that shows government-sponsored
In the land of government plentythat vast landscape populated with the tax dollars of Canadiansthere is no shortage of politicians willing to hand out and defend subsidies to business and no dearth of corporations willing to take the cash.
In his 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language, George Orwell argued that, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Orwells quip came to mind again recently after reading Bombardiers defence of taxpayer subsidies to business, this in response to my recent study on the matter.
Back in 1962 John F. Kennedy had been president of the United States for one year, four lads from Liverpool were about to hit it big in the music world, and a Saskatchewan lawyer, John Diefenbaker, was in his fifth year as Prime Minister of Canada.
In retrospect, 1962 was also notable for another reason: it was the start of a trail identifying corporate welfare recipients, many of whom have sought subsidies from the federal government ever since.