Corporate Welfare for Bombardier

Bombardier is a Canadian multinational with a lot of nerve.

Earlier this year they asked - and received - money from the federal government to help them sell their aircraft. Yet, this morning the Canadian Press is reporting that Bombardier's senior executives saw their compensation rise by nearly 50 per cent last year - at the same time  it laid off thousands of workers and asked the government for handouts to help them do their job.

CEO Alain Bellemare received $9.5 million US, up from $6.4 million US in 2015, including $5.2 million US in share and option-based awards and a $1 million US salary. His annual bonus almost doubled to $2.36 million US. This is particularly galling since earlier this year the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reported that Bellemare qualified for the controversial stock option tax holiday on at least $3.2 Million.  That loophole means that half of the proceeds from cashing in that stock is tax free.

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau campaigned on getting rid of the stock option loophole. But they failed to do so - in two consecutive budgets.  Earlier this month they explained away their decision arguing that the loophole helped small start ups and emerging technology companies attract and retain talent.

It goes without saying that Bombardier, the Royal Bank, the TD Bank, Potash Corporation are not emerging companies nor start ups and their wealthy CEOs do not need subsidies from regular taxpayers. These rules need to be changed.