Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Business grants lack results checking

The provincial government doesn’t know whether $22.9 billion in grants, loans, tax breaks and equity investments yielded the intended results, says the Financial Accountability Office.

Despite repeated calls for follow-up checking, the government hasn’t tracked whether companies do as intended with the taxpayers’ largesse.

The Financial Accountability Office sampled 10 per cent of the assistance to companies between 2012 and 2017 and found there was little or no follow-up.

But Premier Kathleen Wynne said the businesses did create jobs. I guess we just have to take her word for it.

The largesse included grants tax credits, loans and equity investments.

In the 1970s, I wrote a magazine article entitled DREEfer madness,  exporting how the federal government's Department of Regional Economic Expansion gave money to meat packers to expand into a market that had excess capacity, resulting in bankruptcies and closures.

I don't think much has changed since then.