When it comes to the raging global competition for foreign direct investment, Canada has not been doing great on the showing-well front. This is particularly true for the manufacturing sector because pride has focused our collective attention on the controversial need to help attract FDI via taxpayer-funded financial support.
Does CBC/Radio-Canada need saving? While some have been sounding the alarm for a while now, there is a perfectly viable way for the CBC to keep on operating even if the money it gets from Ottawa keeps on shrinking: direct funding from viewers, a model that works very well south of the border.
The 21st century resembles the 19th century -- not in the size of government but in the obvious tussles between special interests and the general interest.
Why did one federal department, Industry, disburse almost $8.5 billion to 10 corporations who don't need the money? The answer, from a corporate perspective: Why not? Even if a company is flush with cash, why not buff up the bottom line if some politician is willing to use the public treasury to support your company?
Ever wonder how Canada's net federal debt reached $671 billion by 2013? Or how net provincial debt among the provinces ended up at $509 billion that same year? Wonder no more.
If business leaders ever wonder why a chunk of the public disdains business and calls for higher corporate taxes or sector-specific increases (e.g. higher royalty rates for energy and mining, higher stumpage fees in forestry) or just increased business taxation in general, here's a clue: too many companies are addicted to corporate welfare, a.k.a: crony capitalism.
I look forward to Jim Flaherty's June 6, 2011 budget and do hope it begins to end taxpayer funded subsidies to political