The biggest item in Chrystia Freeland's budget raises more questions than it answers.
First time i've ever subscribed to a substack, or anything online for that matter. I have read your works for years at all your publications. I think I'll be getting good value for my dollar here. looking forward to seeing what you have in store!
Perhaps it could be pointed out to Minister Freeland that a more effective method of attracting some percentage of those trillions of dollars in private capital would be to reset the blue algae of regulations that are sucking the oxygen out of any incentive for said private capital to invest in Canada.
Hello Paul: Congratulations on your first day of entrepreneurialism. We are cheering you on at the Thompson/Boulet household. Well done! Rosemary
So if interest rates keep climbing, and if the government is further back in line in terms of lenders, can it be assumed that the $1,510 millions is an optimistic scenario? More to the point, will the government have projects in this scheme that force good money to follow in after bad? Could it be that every Fund investment has hidden triggers that we don't know about that commit even more funds especailly if private sector funds don't materialize? Also, how is this different from what happened with TMX?
Great work Paul. This looks like an amalgam of stuff I first covered back in the first CTF corporate welfare report. You may recall it was acronym-palooza from established programs like IRAP and SR*ED to more murky stuff like DIPP, TPC, and a host of regional development agency sub-initiatives. While not based on "investor" schemes (not pejorative, using the UK form of scheme that is more neutral), a variety of repayment or ROI schemes were never to be ... they were programs designed for a political/public policy purpose as direct transfers to organizations or classes of individuals (employment-trade, geographic, other). I sense much of the same here under the guise, legitimate from a policy perspective as some objectives may be, of the CGF.
Macleans was my absolute favourite years ago. Wells, Coyne, Wherry, Maher, Kingston, Marie-Smith, Markusoff and, of course, Scott Feschuk. He punched so hard that my ribs still hurt from laughing.
I'm sure I have forgotten some in the Macleans Hall of Fame. Maybe the Rogers family will donate to a foundation to establish a future museum in Bermuda or the Cayman islands.
Macleans made mistakes, like publishing Barbara Ameil screeds or the Jim Pattison hagiography. My comment on the latter was spiked soon after I posted my opinion on billionaires. They even spiked the article on Pattison (Canada's Warren Buffet?). At this point I decided against subscribing even though I could read everything for free. I did not press the red button. It was a good decision.
You're worth $50 CDN a year Paul, even if I don't live there anymore. I still have family and friends. I like to visit. I like to know what is going on. Success to you and anyone who follows.
I saw you on True North today. Congratulations on your new venture, I applaud your choice to leave legacy news. It is disconcerting to know news is biased; once trust is lost, it is hard to regain. I looked you up on Macleans after watching True North and saw this article, “News from Canada’s Critical Digital Business Revolution” Paul Wells, March 3, 2022. In it, you wrote, “It was a surprise to see the Prime Minister making an announcement on e-business on Thursday, since his government and most others around the world are properly preoccupied with events in Ukraine. Surprising but encouraging.” My first thought was, yes, surprising, maybe because they want it to be hidden underneath Ukraine news. Because I watched Ng in parliament being questioned on this very subject, stalling and misdirecting to avoid answering questions about a possible conflict of interest because, I understand, she awarded the contract to Magnet. If I am wrong, just hit delete now, but if she did award the contract to Magnet, as a former employee, working in the Executive Director Office of the President at Ryerson University, for years, that is sketchy. Did she award Magnet, a not-for-profit platform, like a charity, linked to Ryerson, the contract for the Canada Digital Adoption Program, “Grow Your Business Online”? Is Magnet actually getting a 4-billion-dollar hand out to encourage small business to hire students? “The call for applications is now closed.” How many other companies did Magnet beat out, or did Mary Ng gift it to Magnet? If it’s true, isn’t this yet another conflict of interest, in yet another student work placement program when the first thing I do is wonder how many politicians’ families might benefit? Who is policing how the 4 billion is actually spent? Once again billions out of taxpayer’s pockets, to pay students, when thousands of Canadians are facing escalating prices on everything and our military could use that $4 Billion. There is lots of work out there for everybody, students included, without giving billions to yet another “charity” the Liberals are connected to. They already broke the debt clock once. On March 3, 2022, Justin Trudeau wrote, “This investment, which will provide $4 billion over four years, will support up to 160,000 small businesses and create good middle-class jobs across the country, including thousands of jobs for young Canadians.” If Magnet won the bid, no wonder they announced it under cover, and it just raises my hackles when I see Ryerson is also associated with the meddling World Economic Forum. Thanks for listening to my conspiracy theory because often it’s a conspiracy theory until it isn’t. Thanks. Congratulations, good luck.
I am very happy to support this new endeavour. Paul is one of the most objective, intelligent and readable journalists currently writing in Canada. However, the fact that he needs to publish in this manner is troubling. He was one of the primary writers for the last remaining paper published news magazine in Canada. Are we heading to a future where we are patrons to our favourite journalists and not of general interest publications? Who will be the provider of primary news? What filter will be placed on this news and who will apply it? Coyne and Geist are speaking to some of this on the attempted Liberal party control of news, but where will it end? All these voices need to be heard by the general populace and hopefully someone will listen. Otherwise, I fear for our democracy, and, indeed, our society.
If only we had pipelines to export our current resources that would generate the capitol required.
In the post-war era, the federal government used central bank financing to build highways, airports, schools, and hospitals. Prior to 1975, the federal government also introduced Canada-wide Medicare, universal pensions, the modern unemployment insurance system, and cost-sharing with provinces for higher education and welfare.
The federal government did not go cap in hand to global asset managers then, and should not today. Big money managers seeking maximum returns will charge monopoly rents but if things go sour, the government will inherit a mess.
Accountability and transparency are unlikely when private participation provides a pretext for confidentiality. The Canadian public will have far better powers with full ownership of infrastructure than as tied customers footing jacked-up bills.
Thanks to all the commenters on keeping the discourse on topic and respectful. The comments sections are often as enlightening and informative as the article in question. However, this only occurs when commenters refrain from overt partisanship and ad hominum attacks.
Saw your wonderful interview with Candace Malcolm. Looking forward to reading someone with journalist integrity.
I would love to see a column that deconstructs those trillions of dollars of private capital. Who are the private persons who possess such vast amounts of money? How did they accumulate it? What do they do with it? How much do they pay in taxes?
"Concessionary" is a term of art from international economics and Official Development Assistance. Financing is usually "non-budgetary;" the creditor gets a new asset to match the borrower's new liability. The budgetary impact is the difference between what creditor could have earned on that asset and what (they guess) they will collect from the borrower.
I'd like to hear what you think of the Great Reset?
About that McKinsey report -- Bill McKibben makes the point that in return for that annual spending increase of $US 3.5 trillion, we save about two trillion dollars a year on fossil fuel rents (the money that goes from consumers to those, like Saudi Arabia, who control the supply) forever.