CONSERVATIVE Leader Andrew Scheer on Saturday announced that as Prime Minister he will appoint Kevin Falcon, former deputy premier and finance minister of BC, and Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, former president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada, to lead the Commission on the Reduction of Government Subsidy Programs to Corporations.
This is the first announcement of Scheer’s 100 Day Action Plan – the steps a new Conservative government would take to help Canadians get ahead.
“You shouldn’t have to be a billionaire to get your government’s attention,” Scheer said. “You deserve a government, and a Prime Minister, whose first priority will be to help you get ahead.”
The Commission on the Reduction of Government Subsidy Programs to Corporations will review all business subsidy programs, including grants and contributions to corporations. The commission’s mandate will include:
- Reducing corporate subsidies by $1.5 billion per year
- Recommending performance metrics for corporate subsidy programs
- Reviewing innovation programs to ensure that they are supporting Canadian companies that provide benefits, profits and patents that stay in Canada.
The commission will be operated out of the Department of Finance.
A new Conservative government will also strengthen Canada’s regional development agencies, focusing on helping small and medium businesses to grow.
“There is a truism I’ve learned watching governments of all stripes throw taxpayer dollars at undeserving corporations. Governments have a terrible record of picking between winners and losers. I’m proud to have been part of a government that eliminated all corporate subsidies, grants and equity investments to individual for-profit businesses. I applaud the Conservative party and Andrew Scheer for their commitment to scale back this corporate welfare and redirect it where it belongs, in the pockets of Canadian families,” Falcon said.
“As in all areas of government, spending taxpayers’ money must be efficient and produce the greatest benefits to Canada’s economy. I’m honoured to co-chair this review with a distinguished Canadian, and I’m confident our review will yield the expected benefits,” said Desjardins-Siciliano.
“Hard-working Canadians are rightly offended when they see their tax dollars going to further the interests of the wealthy and well-connected friends, while Justin Trudeau makes them pay more for gasoline, groceries, and home heating,” Scheer said.