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Volkswagen’s $13 billion subsidies a math comedy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the number for Canadians to keep in mind is not “$13 billion” but “5 years.”
Watching Trudeau and Ford explain the mathematics of government subsidies at the April 21st press conference was like watching an Abbot and Costello routine. Click the white arrow at left to view the video. Video: YouTube

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on federal opposition parties to reject the $13 billion subsidy the federal government is giving Volkswagen.

“Taxpayers don’t have $13 billion to give to a multinational corporation,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “That money could be used to build more than a dozen new hospitals or lower taxes for Canadians that are struggling.”

“VW’s $13 billion is biggest corporate welfare payout in modern Canadian history,” wrote PPC leader Maxime Bernier. “Bombardier’s $4 billion over 50 years, doesn’t even come close.”

Dan McTeague

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy tweeted a stream of questions.

“RE: VW EV plant subsidy palooza – Things the media/opposition won’t bother asking,” McTeague wrote.

“1) Where is the energy to run this plant coming from? VW’s first choice was Quebec, but they are maxed out and have no surplus power.

2) Ontario doesn’t have spare hydro capacity either, and the cost of servicing such a herculean undertaking means Ontario will have to belly up several billion … not $500 million

3) The US was not about to entice a company that was charged criminally for the diesel scandal – which Canadians are still owed $200 million.

4) Whenever the federal government commits to mega projects, costs jump several fold. To wit: the TransMountain Pipeline $4.5 billion acquisition is now a $30 billion commitment How can finances of the nation support this, the cost of more mines, and permitting costs.”

Meanwhile, former Ontario MPP Roman Baber points out that the number of “indirect” jobs to be created by the investment have expanded from 7,500 on March 13, to 30,000 on April 21st: