Last week the federal government tossed in a tidy $70 million to assist the Ford Motor Company reconfigure its plant in Oakville, Ont.
The money will help the car company build new models at the plant and secure jobs for auto workers.
There’s not much new there. The federal government has invested billions of dollars since the start of the recession to keep auto companies in business.
It’s probably what governments should be doing — creating long-term, well-paying jobs for Canadians everywhere.
The action by Ottawa does beg the question as to why taxpayer money is invested in some industries but not others?
Long-suffering newsprint companies across Canada have been going hat in hand to the federal government for years looking for financial help to modernize their production plants without success.
Politicians in Ottawa always find some handy excuse why they won’t lend a hand where the paper industry is concerned.
Is the answer connected with political clout?
There are hundreds of federal seats up for grabs in the next federal general election and the ruling Conservatives know they will need every one they can win to cling to power.
Any investment of money in Ontario or Quebec will likely pay big dividends when voters head to the polls in 2015.
Most of the production facilities in the newsprint industry are in remote and rural areas that matter little at election time.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, for instance, there is but one surviving newsprint mill and only seven seats — all of which are now controlled by the opposition and are likely to stay that way.
Granted, reading trends make it more than obvious that newsprint is on the decline and this will likely play a factor in an any decision. However, can’t the same thing be said for vehicles that are manufactured right here in North America?
When it comes to economic support in Canada, it’s often not whether you deserve or need it, it’s if there is a political payoff at the end.
This is an editorial from the Corner Brook Western Star in Newfoundland