Devion's Views #144

THIS IS NOT A FAIRY TALE (posted March 13, 2018)

A story of creating conditions likely to produce, or hasten, favourable future conditions i.e., greasing the wheels.

You have to give Bombardier credit (pun intended) by way of an honorary lifetime award for developing an effective time-tested system to bilk gullible, compliant Canadian taxpayers.

Bombardier ranks near the top of the list of the more voracious "corporate darlings" who feed at the taxpayers' trough. And they have been doing it, year after year, after year.

Worth remembering

Since the 1960's, Bombardier has managed, with unseemly ease, to "borrow" billions of taxpayer dollars from the fed's (Liberal and Conservatives), the province of Quebec and more recently, the Caisse de Depots et Placement du Quebec.

Ever wonder why taxpayers have never been provided with an accounting of the use of their money from an independent auditing firm?

How many billions have been "loaned" to Bombardier since the 1960's?

How many billions have been repaid, with and without interest?

How many billions remain unpaid?

                                                    Where's the accountability?

Answers are kept hidden inside an intricate self-interest web of complex relationships between "corporate darlings", governments and a government agency called Export Development Canada (EDC); a crown corporation whose dealings are purposely kept in the shadows.

EDC is a multibillion-dollar financial-services monolith, the second or third largest export development bank in the world.

An entirely opaque megalith of money that has no master.

Unbelievably, oversight is non-existent. EDC is ostensibly overseen by the Ministry of International Trade but does not provide the exact amount of the loans it extends nor does it disclose its lending rates or precise terms of its financial transactions.

Excellent investigative work by journalists at the Globe and Mail have uncovered many Bombardier capers.

The latest is a doozy worthy of a couple of chapters in the used-car salesman's handbook.

                                                                   The Pitch

Want to buy one of our top-of-the-line luxury jets; the Global 6000, priced at $52 million USD?

Don't be shy. It's "almost free" and so easy to acquire, providing you meet our requirements:

- If you are world-famous for your corrupt political connections ("politically exposed persons") who can obtain lucrative contracts, similar to the way the South African-Indian, uber-rich, Gupta brothers have,

- Have links with nation-rulers (despots & dictators), like former South African president, Jacob Zuma, and can secure for Bombardier a piece of a $1.2 billion locomotive contract, just like the Gupta brothers did,

Then, Bombardier's nearest continental sales manager will meet you, at your earliest convenience, to open discussions.

                                                                 The offer

A Bombardier "special deal" will give you an immediate discount of $10 million on the purchase price.

Bombardier will train your pilots at no cost to you.

Best of all #1: Bombardier will obtain a taxpayer-guaranteed "loan" for 80% of the purchase price ($42 million USD) from Canada's Export Development Agency and arrange "very flexible" repayment terms.

                                                 An intended, essential benefit

Whenever local authorities arrest and charge your favourite despot/dictator with corruption for systemic decade-long looting efforts, necessitating a hasty exit (get out of Dodge fast), simply board your jet, order the pilots to disable the plane's tracking device and presto-chango "poof" you're invisible, gone.

Best of all #2: The Canadian taxpayer is stiffed for the loan because you have vanished into thin air.

Ingenious, simple, foolproof...just sign here and become a member of the Bombardier family.


Victoria mayor, Lisa Helps, says the time has come to "celebrate" closing the old Johnson street bridge (known locally as the 'Blue Bridge') and open its replacement, with an all-day party on the bridge???

To "celebrate" a bridge taxpayers were initially told would cost $63 million and be completed by the fall of 2015.

To "celebrate" a bridge (still not yet quite completed) now estimated to cost $105 million and scheduled to "officially" open on March 31st, 2018, appropriately one day before everyone celebrates April Fools Day.

To "celebrate" a bridge, the proffered rationale offered up by former long-gone local politicians, would save substantial dollars by importing cheaper steel from China rather than Canadian produced steel. Their attempt at "efficiency" backfired big time when the Chinese steel turned out to be flawed and defective, adding to the cost and delays.

Litigation will determine whether China or taxpayers is on the hook to pay for the screwup.

Yet another classic example of 'government knows best, planning and execution' of a major infrastructure project.

This does not bode well for another Capital Regional District infrastructure imbroglio, the long debated mega-million dollar wastewater treatment project. Taxpayers nervously await the final bill for this stinker.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory