Canada seeks to sell government-run firms

My Canadian friends are telling me that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is under fire for offering 9.5 billion dollars to GM. I tell them, who cares? Canada is 10% the size of the USA, so that would be 95 billion for us. I still believe in Harper, and in any case, he already expressed that his preference would be to let the companies go bankrupt.

But let’s take a look at the latest news from Canada. In Canada, they have corporations that are owned by the government called Crown corporations. Some of them are losing money. So what does Harper want to do about that?

Check out this story from the National Post. (H/T My friend Andrew, the perfect father)

The federal Department of Finance has flagged several prominent Crown corporations as “not self-sustaining,” including the CBC, VIA Rail and the National Arts Centre, and has identified them as entities that could be sold as part of the government’s asset review, newly released documents show.

…Finance Department documents, obtained by Canwest News Service under the Access to Information Act… reveal that the government will consider privatizing Crown corporations that require public subsidies to stay afloat.

“The reviews will also examine other holdings in which the government competes directly with private enterprises, earn income from property or performs a commercial activity,” states a Finance briefing note dated Dec. 2, 2008. “It includes Crown corporations that are not self-sustaining even though they are of a commercial nature.”

In the briefing note, the Finance Department identifies nine Crown corporations that fall in that category, including Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the CBC and VIA Rail.

CBC is their NPR/PBS and Via Rail is their AMTRAK. Harper is taking a lot of heat right now because he is running a 50 billion dollar deficit. That’s chump change compared to our nearly 2 trillion dollar deficit this year alone, with no end in sight. Not only that, but Heritage Foundation reports that Obama’s calling up the mayor of Detroit and reassuring him that GM will not move their headquarters to Warren, from Detroit.

More Harper

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