Technology Partnerships Canada
Another Corporate Welfare Nightmare for Taxpayers

Ottawa - Monday, February 25, 2002 - by: Walter Robinson, Federal Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation


Imagine if you ploughed $1,000 into a mutual fund or funds only to have it/them tank and be worth a measly thirty bucks some six years later. To make matters worse, imagine that your financial advisor couldn’t provide you with any paperwork, bank statements or names of the funds in which he invested.




Well hold on, because this scenario mirrors what the Canadian Taxpayers Federation recently uncovered in its own audit of Industry Canada’s Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) program, Ottawa’s flagship high-technology business assistance (read: subsidy) program which relies on levels of sales or royalties to recoup its big ticket loans to corporate Canada.




Since 1996, Technology Partnerships Canada has doled out $947 million in conditionally repayable loans to the Who’s Who of corporate Canada and recouped a paltry 3% ($24.4 million).




In response to past Canadian Taxpayers Federation reports on document the futility of corporate welfare, successive Ministers of Industry (John Manley, Brian Tobin and now Allan Rock) have always pointed to Technology Partnerships Canada as the “new” way of managing corporate welfare in a “better” and “transparent” fashion.



a fact

But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s latest report: Peeling Back the Onion — A Taxpayers Audit of Technology Partnerships Canada, shows that such claims of transparency and success are merely assertions of opinion which are not substantiated by the facts, in fact (pardon the pun), the facts repudiate these claims.




In addition to the horrendous repayment level of 3%, the CTF found that:

one job

  • Over 57% of all $1.7 billion in project authorizations destined for Quebec companies;

  • Technology Partnerships Canada practices 'March Madness’ spend it or lose it spending with an average of 56% of all projects approved in March of each fiscal year;

  • No annual reports have been released since 1998/1999;

  • 26 projects worth $378 million have not been announced;

  • Technology Partnerships Canada is violating several sections of its own Accountability Framework including requirements for periodic audits and a comprehensive four-year audit;

  • Job creation estimates reveal that taxpayers have been fleeced $58,891 per supposed job created; and

  • Three projects worth $147 million were announced publicly before all approvals were given within government.




The Canadian Taxpayers Federation report generated several questions from both conservative opposition parties to Industry Minister Allan Rock on February 19th and 20th. Minister Rock basically admitted that his department was at fault for not releasing annual reports and other information but sadly, he continued the institutional deception that has been prevalent each and every time the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has confronted the government with evidence that Ottawa’s corporate welfare programs don’t work.




Technology Partnerships Canada should be wound down and eliminated. The more prudent and responsible approach to stimulating investment in Canada remains one of further lowering personal, payroll, corporate and capital taxes while consistently monitoring regulatory regimes and removing those barriers and fees deemed contrary to public and competitive interests.




In concert with this economic liberation strategy, the Government of Canada must adopt a more aggressive posture at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in other multilateral institutions to ensure that business subsidies are minimized and eventually eliminated worldwide.




Until this happens, Canadian taxpayers will be forced to endure billions of dollars more in corporate welfare nightmares.
  Walter Robinson
Federal Director
  Peeling Back the Onion — A Taxpayers Audit of Technology Partnerships Canada the entire report downloads as a PDF.
  Candadian Taxpayers Federation web site
  Technology Partnerships Canada has a substantial web site