Something smells funny in Quebec

The federal government’s recent bailout of Bombardier looks bad and smells funny, no matter where you are and what angle you look at it from. The best you could say about it is that maybe it’ll save some jobs in Quebec. That’s why, one assumes, the Quebec government is pitching in with all kinds of taxpayers’ cash in the bailout deal. For the federal government? It smells of vote-buying dressed up as economic stimulus.
There’s nothing new about that. Every government does it. Should they? Shouldn’t they? There are good arguments for both sides and they go on all the time. Alberta has certainly had its bouts of ‘corporate welfare.’ We’ll see more of it.
But what makes the Bombardier thing so much harder to swallow is the millions in bonuses its top executives stand to gain, at a time when a) billions of government money is shoring the company up and, b) the company is laying off thousands. Talk about bad ‘optics.’
The federal opposition parties are of course attempting to make all the hay they can from this golden opportunity. Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen sent around a flyer on the topic last week, taking the federal government to task and pulling out every stop he could think of to make Prime Minister Justin Trudeau look incompetent and foolish. It’s about what you would expect from an opposition member and reeks of opportunism. On the other hand, the Trudeau government does look foolish on the Bombardier file. It just plays very, very badly, giving billions to a company that turns around and rewards its top bananas with millions. It stinks of pork barrel politics. It’s a stink we’ve smelled before.

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