Every indication has been given that the Liberal government will bail out manufacturer of planes and trains, Bombardier before they embrace the Energy East pipeline that won’t cost the feds a dime.
Bombardier has met with Justin Trudeau’s Liberals 29 times since their request in December and on budget day drop, the Prime Minister praised the CSeries jet that’s being manufactured by the company. The project is billions over budget and other competitors have taken advantage of delays and produced their own models. And the Vice President of Bombardier said that the company doesn’t need the money, but the Liberals are still considering giving the company $1B dollars.
But there’s more to this story – the Bombardier family founded McInnis Cement, the operation set to open the Gaspe Cement plant this fall that’s no stranger to controversy - including the provincial government’s questionable decision to table legislation in order to waive environmental hearings and being granted almost half a billion dollars in funding. So, the family has its hands in the pockets of both provincial and federal governments.
In stark contrast, you might remember that the government of Quebec is seeking an injunction against TransCanada Pipelines to ensure that the company is complying with the province’s environmental laws. But TransCanada commissioned an independent environmental and socioeconomic assessment that is eight volumes and covers biophysical effects, considering things like geological and hydrogeological hazards, accident assessments and environmental protection plans. All while the cement plants environmental hearings were waived because it was subject to apparently old regulations and delays would have cost the operator millions of dollars.
The story of the McInnis Cement plant is similar to that of Bombardier – they’re getting into a market where supply is unnecessary and companies like Lafarge would be forced to cut jobs because 60% of their capacity is unused and the new plant would add to that surplus. Not only this, but McInnis would be competing with the same clients as other major concrete manufacturers.
The Bombardier driven projects have cronyism written all over them, but it looks like governments on all levels are opting to proceed with plans to finance companies that are already destined to fail.