The Globe & Mail is reporting that the Canadian, Quebec and UK governments will be giving Bombardier $700 million ($360M from Canada and $340M from the UK) to build the new flagship transcontinental C-Series Jets.
5,000 jobs will be created in Montreal and several thousand in London, er no, Birmingham, no, I mean Glasgow, no Liverpool. Actually, the UK investment of $340 Million will go to support job creation in Belfast, Northern Ireland. That’s right. The New Brunswick of the U.K.
So, students, let’s recap Canada’s approach to economic development inthe past six months:
-$1 billion for the major automakers to create jobs in southern Ontario
-$150 million for Bell Helicopters in Montreal
-$360 million for Bombardier in Montreal
-Topping up the EI program in Atlantic Canada
What annoys me the most, however; is that the UK used their $340 million for Northern Ireland – not London or any other successful urban area.
Is it any wonder the OECD said in 2002 that the lack of coherent regional development policy in Canada is the biggest threat to our growth as a country?
Do you think that you or I will ever see the day where the government spends $300 million to attract a major manufacturer to Atlantic Canada?
In the words of that quintessential Canadian, John Candy, in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (fitting analogy) “You’d have better luck playing pickup sticks with your butt cheeks”.