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CTF Releases New Study on the Greening of Corporate Welfare and the Costs to Come

April 25, 2017
CTF Releases New Study on the Greening of Corporate Welfare and the Costs to Come
  • Focus on federal, Alberta and Ontario subsidies programs since 2000 shows clear shift towards green/renewable projects
  • Cost to taxpayers so far is a drop in the bucket compared to the much larger costs to come

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a new study warning that corporate welfare giveaways are growing and increasingly justified as green initiatives. The study, entitled Corporate Welfare Cash: 21st Century Justifications and Billion-Dollar Bills to Come, looks at trends in corporate welfare since 2000 and shows governments are racking up huge bills as traditional corporate welfare is shifting towards an increasing number of green initiatives.

“Old habits die hard, and the consequences will be very expensive for taxpayers,” said study author Mark Milke. “Rather than concede corporate welfare doesn’t work, governments have instead come up with a new justification for taxpayer subsidies to private businesses.”

A analysis of government subsidies from 2000-2016 found that projects with a ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ focus were the dominant recipients of subsidies from the federal department of Natural Resources Canada (79% of all subsidies) and the provinces of Ontario (96%) and Alberta (67%).

“Green initiatives are tempting for politicians, but corporate welfare’s failed track record in areas such as aerospace and the auto sector should scare Canadians,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “Governments are terrible at predicting the next smart investment and changing the goal to green will not make them any better at it.”

Alarmingly, the study notes that the greatest potential cost to taxpayers still lie ahead, with Ontario’s Global Adjustment Charge—a subsidy to green power producers—is estimated to cost Ontarians $133 billion over the next 15 years. On one non-green initiative, Alberta’s North West Upgrader refinery, Albertans are on the hook for $25 billion in toll payments over a 30 year period. Absent high prices for government-owned oil, Albertans are at risk of billions in losses.

“Companies such as Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney and the big automakers have bilked taxpayers out of billions over the last few decades,” noted Wudrick. “But if governments continue with their current policies, that figure will be dwarfed by the cost of new green-oriented projects and other corporate welfare committments.”

To see a copy of the CTF’s report Corporate Welfare Cash: 21st Century Justifications and Billion-Dollar Bills to Come by Mark Milke, please click HERE.

For more information:

Mark Milke, Study Author: mmilke@telus.net  (403) 510-6270

CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick: awudrick@taxpayer.com  (613) 295-4809

CTF Ontario Director Christine Van Geyn: cvangeyn@taxpayer.com  (647) 607-6633

CTF Alberta Director Paige MacPherson: pmacpherson@taxpayer.com  (403) 478-7184

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