I read this story today and it had me thinking: CTV News: Canada’s oilpatch subsidies said to total $2.8B. The gist was that we should eliminate these subsidies to which I agree (even though I work in the oil patch).
$2.8B is a drop in the bucket. Have a look at the Government of Canada Current Accounts Transfer Payments for 2009 and some of the highlights:
- $920,000,000: Agriculture Subsidies (mostly corporations)
- $637,000,000: Subsidies to Provinces (why not just let them tax and redistribute?)
- $360,000,000: Atlantic Canada subsidies
- $1,188,000,000: Canadian Heritage (just read the 17 pages of handouts)
- $342,000,000: Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
- $14,000,000,000: Equalization Payments (welfare) to Provinces (MB, NS, NB, ON, PEI, QC)
- $6,600,000,000: General Motors bailout
- $360,000,000: Western Economic Diversification
It is basically tax dollars used to buy votes. Each line item is small in the big picture but when you add them all up it gets pretty ugly.