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$50 million to MasterCard to help them set up shop in Vancouver.

$50 million to MasterCard to help them set up shop in Vancouver.

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That’s right, the Trudeau government is actually giving a handout to a major financial company that makes billions each year.

Forget the corporate welfare for Canadian Tire’s electric car chargers or the $12 million Justin Trudeau gave Loblaws to help them buy fridges.

We’ve got a new champion for companies pigging out at the taxpayer trough: MasterCard.

That’s right, the Trudeau government is actually giving a handout to a major financial company that makes billions each year.

In a little-noticed government news release last week, Industry Minister Navdeep Bains announced a gift of $50 million to MasterCard to help them set up shop in Vancouver.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had the best line as opposition parties pressed the government on the handout, he played off of MasterCard’s classic “Priceless” ad campaign.

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“Having a wasteful government that believes in corporate welfare isn’t priceless, turns out it’s worth $50 million!” Scheer said in the Commons.

The government, which made the announcement at the swanky World Economic Forum, a who’s who of the world elite in Davos, Switzerland, seemed caught off guard with Scheer’s questions.

“Why did the prime minister make taxpayers so sad by giving $50 million to a company that made $16 billion last year off the backs of hard-working Canadians who can’t afford to pay their full balances?” Scheer asked.

Trudeau mumbled on about his government being focused on “growing the middle class and those working hard to join it.” Nothing says middle class like giving a profitable multibillion-dollar company $50 million from taxpayers.

“Why did the prime minister think that they needed a handout?” Scheer asked again.

“Everything this government does is focused on the middle class and those working hard to join it,” Trudeau responded.

The NDP wasn’t letting the Conservatives steal their corporate welfare thunder and jumped in on the action.

“Why does the Liberal government keep giving money to profitable companies instead of investing in our health care?” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh asked.

Trudeau responded that his government is working hard to make medications more affordable.

Given how well past corporate handouts have gone over, it’s no wonder that Trudeau didn’t want to even attempt to answer the questions from the opposition leaders. Yet, I bet he actually believes that giving your tax dollars to profitable companies helps you.

Or maybe he simply thinks CEOs from places like MasterCard are middle class and this helps them.

That’s not a crazy statement; the government once again this week said they can’t define the middle class they are so desperate to help.

Not surprisingly, fiscal hawks like Aaron Wudrick at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation were not impressed.

“MasterCard is a very profitable corporation. There is no reason why taxpayers should have to give them a $50-million gift,” Wudrick said.

But, but, but, says the government, this “investment” will help raise “Canada’s stature as a leader in cybersecurity,” the news release said.

“Is that reputational boost worth $50 million?” Wudrick wisely asked.

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As part of this deal, MasterCard will invest $510 million and the federal government will give $49 million to start a global intelligence and cybersecurity centre with 380 jobs. The government’s “investment” alone amounts to about $129,000 per job.

I bet the jobs won’t all pay that much.

After giving Canadian Tire $2.7 million it didn’t need, Loblaws $12 million it didn’t need and BlackBerry $40 million that it didn’t need or ask for, one might think that Trudeau would have learned a lesson about corporate welfare. But clearly, he hasn’t.

He sees it as his job to hand out your money to his friends, his well-connected, wealthy friends.

The least he could have done is paid your bill.


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