Governments giving millions or even billions to corporations is nothing new. Giving outright grants, awarding “loans” no one really believes will be repaid, even “above-market” payments for goods and services are all decades-old ways of slipping cash to private-sector players.
Shipbuilders, aircraft manufacturers, carmakers, mining companies, oil companies, banks and credit unions, software and cellphone companies and many, many others have been recipients of taxpayer money when it suited political goals, or when those companies agreed to help advance a government’s policies.
For instance, when Ottawa gave Montreal’s Bombardier $373 million loan back in February, it was not the plane-maker’s first injection. The first came in 1966. Since then, there have been 48 more.
Federal and provincial governments have long used your money and mine to attract new businesses, persuade existing ones not to leave or to just plain reward corporations willing to go along with controversial government decisions.
But what is new is the way more and more of this tax-funded generosity is going to “green” energy companies.