The current exec pay hooha is a timely reminder about the real scandal here: the willingness of politicians to hand over billions of dollars in subsidies to a few favoured companies. What is Bombardier really selling? Itself as a recipient for government funds. As for planes, “it is selling the making of planes, or more particularly conspicuous government support for the making of planes, or perhaps just the idea of making planes,” writes Andrew Coyne, tongue firmly in cheek, for the National Post.
The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador needed a federal guarantee to get off the ground, which in itself testifies to its iffy economics, writes Konrad Yakabuski for the Globe and Mail. Now, he says, Newfoundland’s shrinking population faces paying for Muskrat Falls in more ways than one.
(December 28, 2012) The fight for a slice of the central government’s subsidy pie continues in the Three Gorges Dam region as local governments compete for funding to address the economic and environmental problems caused by the mega-dam’s construction. This impact update by Taiwan-based news site, Want China Times, reports that these problems remain unresolved and that residents, forced to relocate for the dam, continue to be dogged by an economic malaise. With or without subsidies, local governments are ploughing ahead with projects to build infrastructure and industrial parks. Meanwhile, usurped residents say the government should give them the subsidy money in cash, directly. Cash pay-outs that bypass local government officials would likely be money better spent: Probe International has published scores of reports over the years detailing the ways in which compensation funds for relocated residents, and past projects designed to support their transition, have proved useless at best or have disappeared into corrupt officials’ pockets at worst. For so many reasons, Probe International has concluded the Three Gorges Dam project represents a money drain that will never be plugged.