Thursday, July 05, 2007

Edmonton: money for millionaires but not for infrastructure

The City of Edmonton and the Alberta government are teaming up to give Lionsgate Entertainment $8.9 million tax dollars to bribe them to come to Edmonton to film one of two TV shows.

The City of Edmonton is kicking in $3.5 million and the Alberta government is in for $5.4 million.

But can someone please explain to me why taxpayers' money is being given to a company that enjoyed $977 million (USD) in revenues last year?

This is corporate welfare cut and dry. It's no different than our federal government cutting cheques to Quebec aerospace companies like Bombardier or Pratt & Whitney.

The City of Edmonton is bragging about this hand-out by exclaiming that it will create 100 jobs.

100 jobs for $8.9 million!?! That's $89,000 per job. It would be cheaper for the city and the province just to find 100 out of work actors and cut them all cheques for $45,000. It would save taxpayers $4.4 million.

The City is also bragging about getting a 15% cut of the net proceeds. Which the Mayor claims "should cover the $3.5 million in city grants."

However, one of the two shows being considered is "The Dresden Files" which is rumoured to be near cancellation by the cable-only Sci-Fi channel.

Mr. Mayor, you're an astute businessman, what's 15% of $0?

As an "investment" this is a terrible one. If it was such a good "investment" the private sector would have jumped all over it.

The Alberta government got an even worse deal because they get 0% of the profits, it's strictly a cash hand-out.

The City of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta need to re-focus their priorities (and our tax dollars) on priorities like fixing crumbling infrastructure, education, health care, etc, not bribing millionaires to come to our city.

Read more here and here.

No comments:

CTF You Tube Channel

Canadian Taxpayers Federation's Fan Box