Pork barrel news

Well, there must be an election coming. The Prime Minister and his Ministers were in New Brunswick doling out cash. Just kidding. Gotcha.

No, Stephen Harper, that great fighter of corporate incentives was doling out $80 million to get an auto plant restarted in Ontario and another $50 million to an aerospace project in Winnipeg.

No word on the size of the package to help restart the mill in the Miramichi – and there never will be any word. Manitoba is only slightly larger in population than New Brunswick and I can’t ever remember the feds putting $50m, not even $30m – I can’t even remember them putting $10M in to an industrial project in New Brunswick.

Some of you will say so what – you don’t believe that kind of pork barrel politics. But why is it fine in Ontario, Quebec and now even Manitoba but not New Brunswick?

Maybe some day we’ll see a $500 million mega manufacturing project in Dalhousie – with $50 million of fed money attached. Maybe but don’t hold your breath.

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0 Responses to Pork barrel news

  1. nbt says:

    You raise an interesting point on corporate welfare and it’s bias to central Canada over the years, David (mostly through TPC grants).
    And it’s one I think Donald Savoie slightly addressed in one of his books regarding the power of the Ontario Liberal caucus (and it’s negotiating power) and the failure of the ship building industry proposal for Atlantic Canada (by the Liberal Atlantic caucus at the time).

    That being said, I think he and you are onto something when it comes to corporate welfare being bias towards the auto industry in Ontario and the aerospace industry in Quebec. Just look at the contrast in rhetoric by the Ontario Minister when the subject of corporate welfare came up in both regions:

    Atlantic Canada (Dec.13th, 2007) regarding the Miramichi paper mill closures

    “I don’t believe in corporate welfare or in propping up failing companies,” he said, rejecting any sort of direct industrial aid or investment as a response to mill closures.

    Ontario (Jan.16th, 2008) On auto sector subsidy bailouts a few weeks later:

    “Finally, a leader of a government that doesn’t capitulate to the regional demands for more corporate subsidies. I can’t begin to explain how huge this is for our federation.”

    Ontario (Sept.3rd, 2008) And the central Canada election cave in:

    “Prentice said the announcement will initially create or sustain up to 542 jobs, or potentially 757.”

    Yeah, sustain…that’s the buzz word. lol