Bombardier still taking flak

The major theme in Ottawa is still Bombardier after it was reported that six company executives were to receive $32 million in bonuses.

As many of you might recall, the Quebec-based company received an interest-free $372.5 million loan from taxpayers in February.

This loan was controversial in large part because Bombardier executives had stated publicly that the company did not need it having secured adequate funds elsewhere.

Controversy over the $32 million in bonus payments did cause Bombardier to defer half the amount to 2020 if certain financial targets are met.

As my critics like to point out in recent letters to the editor, opposing is not the same as proposing an alternative. It is an important point and one that I agree with.

In this case, could the bonuses be avoided until the company repays the $372.5 million loan?

The answer is yes.

When the former Conservative government provided assistance to Air Canada, it came with terms and conditions.

Some conditions mandated that executive compensation would be frozen at the rate of inflation and that any additional bonuses would be prohibited. Air Canada was also banned from issuing dividends or allowing share repurchases.

The debate in the Bombardier case is that the $372.5 million s interest free, with no similar terms of restrictions. In fact, at the same time Bombardier receives this loan, it has also announced 7,500 people would be laid off, 2,000 of them in Canada.

It was further revealed in Question Period that the Liberal government has yet to sign off on the final paperwork for this loan and still has the option to add similar restrictions.

My question this week pertains to government bailouts to private industry.

In the event the government does provide a form of assistance to a large Canadian employer, is it reasonable to also require, and enforce, that executive bonuses and other shareholder related perks have limits until the loan — and/or other relief measure — is repaid?

I welcome your comments, concerns and questions on this topic or any matter before the House of Commons. I can be reached at [email protected]  or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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