Following in the path of far too many governments before them, the Liberal government is considering giving more aid to Bombardier. This is virtually guaranteed to be a terrible idea, because Bombadier will almost certainly come back for more money. But is that so bad? Maybe it’s just the cost of placating Quebec. Unfortunately it’s difficult to even judge that, because we have no idea how much money has been spent on Bombardier. The best I could find is a $1.1 billion total since 1961, which doesn’t say how much was spent year to year, or how much provincial governments have given to Bombardier.
And as it turns out, provincial subsidies are a big deal, bigger than federal subsidies by a wide margin:
Total Federal and provincial government subsidies, 1961-2009
Then if you break it down by province:
Federal government subsidies by province, 1961-2009
…which seems to be distributed by each provinces’ population, until you look at how much each provinces spends itself…
Provincial government subsidies by province, 1961-2009
And Quebec is leading the way on subsidies! Unfortunately, that probably means that Bombardier is more the norm than some weird exception. But without the actual figures, it’s hard to say. What’s clearer, is that sadly the federal government is merely jumping on the bandwagon of giving money to Quebec corporations.