Monday, November 14, 2005

My how things change

Mark Milke in the Victoria Times Colonist (sorry, subscriber only)

Back when the prime minister was merely a lowly billionaire magnate on the opposition benches with the job of finance critic, Martin had excellent ideas on business subsidies: Abolish them. Otherwise, noted the insightful critic, businesses often take the money and run when it is spent.

In February 1993 in conversation with the Montreal Gazette's William Johnson, Martin was properly critical of the Progressive Conservative government's corporate welfare policy. They had, said Martin, only two ideas: Building megaprojects or "Let's give a pork-barrel grant to some company so that they'll go build a factory."

In replacement, Martin proposed this: "The industrial policy of this country is going to be: No more megaprojects, no more grants to industry; it is going to be based solely on our educational institutions, our research labs, and the relationship between them and medium-sized Canadian business, with the capacity to develop export markets in areas where this country has a comparative advantage."

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