I have tried to explain what I believe to be the difference between governments investing in growth companies in strategic sectors by helping to support issues such as training, infrastructure building, etc. – investments that support efforts to growth specific industry sectors.
What I dislike – in fact abhor – is government propping up bad business models (like Newfoundland and Stephenville paper plant) or overspending well beyond any reasonable tax-based payback to the jurisdiction.
This is another good example of a bad investment – in my opinion. $300,000 per job each year for 35 years – Subsidies for aluminum producers. This is a press release from the Montreal Economic Institute complaining about recent subsidies to aluminum producers in Quebec. The politics of it are clear but the lost opportunity cost of investing that money in other areas is staggering.
This kind of thing give economic development a bad name.