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Sunday, August 13, 2006 

Maybe the Corporate CEO's Should Go To Jail

The federal Conservative government is getting ready to 'name and shame' companies who receive taxpayer funded financial subsidies and then break their contracts with the federal government. Even the CTF is shocked. But rather than take legal action against the companies - they advocate merely 'killing' the program. I will acknowledge that the CTF has been vocal in their criticism of the guilty companies.

The minor reprimand being considered by the Federal government, however, only proves once again, that in Conservative Canada there is one set of rules for average citizens like you and I and another set of rules for big business.

From the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail link is now broken. Text of full story appears below:

Ottawa Business Journal

(Globe and Mail Story)
Ottawa to 'name and shame' contract breakers
More accountability for TPC is the goal

OTTAWA -- The federal government says it will "name and shame" companies that break the rules of Ottawa's most controversial corporate subsidy program, part of an effort to clean up the embattled Technology Partnerships Canada.

Industry Minister Maxime Bernier announced yesterday that Ottawa will begin publicly disclosing the names of companies that receive money from TPC and later break the terms of their contracts.

Ottawa has previously said there was little it could disclose about specific TPC clients and contracts because of confidentiality requirements. That will still be true for existing recipients. For future contracts, though, the names of rule-breakers will be posted on-line.

The changes will ensure "that companies that behave inappropriately will be held publicly accountable for their actions," Mr. Bernier said in a written statement.

Donald Savoie, a University of Moncton professor whose specialties include industrial policy, said the changes are a step in the right direction, though the program has a spotty history. TPC has been a lightning rod for taxpayers' anger since it was launched a decade ago. The program, which provides venture capital for corporate research, has invested about $3-billion in companies but has been dogged by a miserable repayment rate.

Mr. Bernier has said he's open to the idea of killing the program. Isabelle Fontaine, the minister's spokeswoman, said yesterday the changes don't preclude a broader overhaul of TPC or its cancellation. The previous Liberal government announced changes to the program last year, including a new name, but they never happened.

An audit released earlier this year found that more than a third of 47 companies that got money from the program broke their contracts by using unregistered lobbyists or paying inappropriate fees to lobbyists.

Adam Taylor, research director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says TPC isn't serving the public's interests: "The program doesn't work and should be killed."

Simon Tuck
Globe and Mail

How is the election campaign? I know it has not officially been called. What are Premier Lord's chances?

If I do not pay my income tax what happens to me? Why do these companies always get a free ride. Just try to not pay anything back to the Federal government and the double standard clicks in.

Oh by the way Phil - how is your Tory premier doing out there? The media says that he is throwing tax dollars like confetti (and the election ISN'T even called yet). Is that true?

I am afraid that the conservatives will go down this time there.

I cam say that Lord (as a Conservative Premier) was a hell of a lot better than the last Tory Premier you had in Dick Hatfield.

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