Gift or loan?
The bail out has an odour about it.
The Bombardier bail out by Ottawa became a lively discussion at our most recent get together for discussing Issues in the Media. A big stumbling block in the discussion was the confusion about whether the bail out was a ‘loan’ or an outright ‘handout.’
John P. recalled reading that the money given to Bombardier was a ‘loan.’ Moderator Richard claimed it was an ‘outright gift,’ basing his position on a number of newspaper sources. The contrary views were not settled at the meeting but both the participants followed up their opinions with additional research.
The Huffington Post headline supports John’s position: “Bombardier To Get $372.5M In Loans From Federal Government” whereas The Financial Post columnist, William Watson, expresses his confusion: “News reports say the federal government is getting to crunch time on whether to lend or give – which is not clear yet – $1 billion to Bombardier Inc., which is having trouble selling its new C-series aircraft.”
Even with minimal digging, the “loan” proponents seem to have more supporters. The semantics confusion gets no clarification when one reads that the loan has “no interest” attached to it as confirmed by every story labelling it a ‘loan.’ However, this is not a ‘no strings attached gift’ according to lfpress.com (London Free Press) which writes ‘repayment will be through royalties on each aircraft sold.’
Whoa…now there’s a thought. Loan money to a company struggling to avoid bankruptcy because its product won’t sell but base the loan repayment on future sales. Who’s negotiating for Ottawa? Elmer Fudd? Or is there more going on ‘under the table?’
Clearly, the Trudeau government is pandering to the Quebec electorate. This government has ignored other needy regions of the country when they experienced economic hard times. Maybe their votes we already assured? Or maybe, Quebec has a much larger voter base, one so big that it cannot be ignored?
This Bombardier bail out goes deeper than any Seadoo the company manufactures. Trudeau has been known to associate with other multimillionaires/billionaires. Next, Trudeau will be skimming across the waters in front of the Pierre Beaudoin cottage. Beaudoin, nephew to the founding father of Bombardier, earns $6.4 million annually. History repeats itself again with inherited wealth. The Eaton family eventually closed up shop when the offspring mismanaged the inheritance. Joseph-Armand Bombardier must be turning in his grave as he sees the writing on the wall.
But the Canadian taxpayer deserves to know more about the story. Let’s hope Ambrose and Mulcair pursue it relentlessly because there is much more than what’s on the surface.