Thursday, December 31, 2015

McCain gets government handouts

The McCain Foods plant at Carberry, Manitoba, is garnering $380,000 in subsidies from the federal and provincial governments to upgrade its potato-processing plant.

This is egregious waste of taxpayers' money. McCain Foods is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Canadian food-processing company. It can surely pay for its investments without government handouts.

Add in the cost of borrowing the money to give to McCain, borrowed because both the federal and Manitoba governments are running deficits. 

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn were on hand to make their donations this week.

The company’s investments are expected to reduce potato waste by 900,000 pounds and canola oil waste by 800,000 pounds per year.

The company says it intends to add about 10 employees to its staff of 220 over the next three years.

 “In order to stay competitive, it’s important to have equipment that runs efficiently, allowing maximum productivity and minimal waste,” plant manager Dean Melnic said in a joint company-government news release.

McCain bought the plant in 2004. It was built 53 years ago and now processes about 430 million pounds of potatoes a year, most of them for french fries, 80 per cent of them exported.

“Reducing waste and increasing efficiency will help ensure Manitoba-grown potatoes continue to be a top choice for processors and consumers,” Kostyshyn said.