St. Boniface - Monday, March 4, 2002 - by: Mike Reilly


Industry Minister Rock (and Tobin and Manley before him) should be ashamed to stand in the House of Commons and defend programs like Technology Partnership Canada (TCP). The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has released an audit of TCP showing accounting and management practices of Enron proportions.




Over the last six years, $947.7 million in loans was approved under less than rigorous application practices. Of this money, only $24.5 million, less than 3% has been repaid. Many of these loans intended for creating high tech jobs to boost the economy cost between $58,891 and $95,771.14 per job. These figures are difficult to estimate more precisely since TCP has not released an annual report since 1998/99. Only the federal Liberals could get away with such a lack of accountability.




At a time when our economy needs to be strengthened by a growth in new Canadian owned technology firms, much TCP funding is for companies like Bombardier, IBM Canada and Rolls Royce Industries. Taxpayer support of companies of this calibre appears more like corporate welfare than responsible corporate assistance.




Since the Liberals understand the need to maintain their hold in central Canada, it is no surprise that over 90% of all funding was received by companies in Ontario and Quebec. Hardly surprising from a government that abandoned its interest in Western Canada long ago.




Mike Reilly