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Opinion: Freeland demands to spend $2B taxpayer dollars year-over-year on a company that doesn’t exist

“The green transition, we have to act quickly,” Freeland told the Senate national finance committee. “It is urgent to carry out,” she added.

The Trudeau government is so keen to transition Canada to “green energy” it’s willing to permanently charge Canadian taxpayers $2 billion year-over-year to buy shares in a company that doesn’t exist with a – Just trust me – type of start up business plan.

Hidden deep down inside the 172 page Liberal government spending budget Bill C-32An Act to implement certain provisions of the fall economic statement” there is a clause that says the minister of Finance, currently Freeland, has the ability to spend $2 billion “or any greater amount” from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

“The Minister of Finance may acquire and hold on behalf of His Majesty in right of Canada non-voting shares of a corporation that is incorporated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corp. and that is responsible for administering the Canada Growth Fund.”

Former top finance official in the Newfoundland and Labrador government and former auditor general of that territory Sen. Elizabeth Marshall questioned Freeland on a section of Bill C-32 that calls for the creation of the Canada Growth Fund but offers no further information.

“It’s going to provide $2 billion to you as minister to buy shares in a corporation which does not exist. There’s no legislation which tells us anything about this yet-to-be-created corporation, we don’t know anything about the composition of the board, or even whether there will be a board,” Marshall noted.

Senator Marshall pointed to the fact the bill doesn’t provide any information of how the money will be spent controlled or governed asking Freeland why these important details are missing and why it doesn’t have its own legislation.

“As parliamentarians we should be very concerned that we have a section of a bill that talks about $2 billion to buy shares of a corporation that doesn’t exist. Not only that, we don’t know anything about the corporation,” she added. All we’re depending on is a couple of pieces of paper called the backgrounder. If it’s so important, put it in the bill so we can debate it.”

Freeland gave a long winded non answer before saying the government needs to act quickly because “climate change” and the Biden government in the United States is spending money faster.

“I would say to you two things: One, the green transition, we have to act quickly, but from my perspective, the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act added to the urgency with which Canada needs to act,” Freeland said. “They are deploying hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in the green transition. We need to move really, really fast and so getting this fund in place quickly, is more important than ever.”

Marshall replied that she wanted to know why none of this was in the legislation to set up this fund, which in addition to $2 billion of government money, seeks to attract billions more, a total of $15 billion for the fund.

“You’re saying, ‘Give me the $2 billion. I’ll buy some shares, but the company doesn’t even exist,’” an exasperated Marshall said.

So what does this mean for Canadian taxpayers?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is about to permanently syphon $2+ billion dollars from Canadian tax payers year-over-year to buy shares in a non existent company, a company that has not been incorporated, no name and no details of how it will be structured.

According to the government the “Canada Growth Fund” is supposed to “attract the significant private capital required to accelerate the deployment of technologies required to decarbonize and grow their economies.”

While being a legit function of government, the problem comes in the way it is being handled. The Trudeau Liberals have become fond of a – Just trust me – process when it comes to spending Canadian taxpayer money. The Trudeau government wants the money now before a company is even registered or even thought up.

The government admits in its own backgrounder it has no clue how the company will be structured and run noting the details will be coming in “the first half of 2023.”

The government was handed this approval without anyone or itself knowing who will own the corporation, be on the board, how much board members will be paid, other operational costs, expenses and where the expenses are going and for what or where its head office will even be located.

If you brought a plan like this to a financial lender also known as the bank, they would tell you to take a hike and come back with the details of the structure and at least a 5 year business plan of expenses and projected revenue before they even discuss giving you money.

As a taxpayer you should be worried about where the money is going because that’s your money, in this situation Canadians are the financial group the government is looking to get money from. A responsible government would provide the full details when such a large amount of Canadian taxpayer money is planned to be spent.

How did the spending get approval without any scrutiny or idea of how the money will monitored and spent?

Well that is something all Canadians should be asking themselves and the MPs they voted in to government but also questioning what the senators were thinking because the details won’t be revealed until maybe June.

It shouldn’t be acceptable in any situation for the government to provide no information on structure or governance of a company that will be receiving taxpayer money, especially when it comes to buying shares in a non-existent company, there should still be a business plan. That’s absolutely not good fiscally responsible or good governance but only a testament of how the Trudeau government operates.

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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