Canadian Taxpayers Federation reacts to corporate welfare handout to Maple Leaf Foods
OTTAWA, ON: Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) Federal Director Aaron Wudrick released the following statement in response to today’s joint federal-provincial announcement of a $62.5 million taxpayer subsidy to Maple Leaf Foods:
“Canadian and Ontario taxpayers just found out they’re getting the opportunity to make an involuntary donation of $62 million to a profitable, private business.
“Usually, corporate welfare is rationalized as job creation, but this case is a unique innovation: 300 employees are getting fired.
“While taxpayers have many questions, apparently none of the decisionmakers involved considered this glaringly obvious point: ‘Why would it be unreasonable for a business such as Maple Leaf to simply pay for its own processing plant itself, especially in the dynamic innovative strategic industry of ‘cutting up chickens?’
“Nor is this about simply padding the bottom line for Maple Leaf - both the Ford and Trudeau government are hoping this announcement will deliver considerable political spinoff benefits for politicians, providing they can keep a straight face while saying the word ‘investment.’
“Following in a long legacy of bipartisan handout tradition that includes such infuriatingly memorable recipients as Bombardier and General Motors, why would taxpayers worry that the promised economic benefits may not materialize exactly as promised?
“Here’s one result that’s a certainty: taxpayers will remember that the Ford and Trudeau governments are respecting their tax dollars by putting them where they are most obviously unneeded: into the pockets of a corporation for the purpose of building a chicken processing plant.”