There are the A’s and then there are the B’s when it comes to government handouts.
Red Wilson’s Historica Foundation received a $17 million grant from the Harper government, and Flaherty’s wife’s pet project has been engineered to get megabucks. Why should the Windsor Engine Plant that employs 600 workers expect to receive $30 million in assistance? After all, that would mean 600 more taxpayers?
Jobs, votes on the line
The Chatham Daily News
Posted -39 sec ago
Geographically, southwestern Ontario is a long ways from Quebec, but politically, it is light-years away.
That is especially true at the federal government level. Employees of the Ford Essex Engine Plant saw that recently when the federal government, led by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, balked at the notion of committing $30 million to Ford to help bring the development of a new fuel-efficient V-8 engine to the plant and get 600 laid off employees back to work.
Flaherty said in January his government's position is to not subsidize individual corporations.
Yet federal Public Works Minister Michael Fortier said last week that as much as $350 million could be forthcoming to support the assembly of a new fuel-saving airliner built by Bombardier in Montreal.
"I can't give details, but we want that project to land in Montreal," Fortier said.
On top of this potential federal investment, The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Ottawa paid out $350 million to Pratt and Whitney Canada - based in Quebec - and handed a Quebec ski resort $47.5 million. And that was just during the government's first fiscal year in office.
Add to that $500 million in grants and loans to businesses in La Belle Province in 2006 and 2007.
Perhaps Flaherty's comment on not subsidizing individual companies only applies to corporations not headquartered in Quebec. Or is it that the federal government has a hate on for the Windsor area?
Quebec has long been a political hand grenade for federal governments. Winning Ontario may get a political party into power in Ottawa, but spurn Quebec and a party will pay for it for years to come.
As for the political landscape in southwestern Ontario, Windsor and Essex County ridings are historically NDP and Liberal dominated. Judging from the government's tough position on the Ford Essex Engine Plant, Essex Conservative MP Jeff Watson must feel like he's on an island. That's 600 key jobs in his riding.
Watson's island is sinking. It will submerge when the next federal election occurs.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 8:59 AM