Conservative Response to LEAFF Announcement | May 11, 2020
The Hon. Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, and the Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Conservative Shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, today responded to the government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEAFF) announcement.
“The Trudeau Liberals have once again let down Canadian workers, businesses and taxpayers,” said MP Rempel Garner. “Nothing announced today provides the clarity that businesses and workers have been looking for. There are no clear timelines, no clear eligibility criteria, no job guarantees, no budget, no transparency and no safeguards to protect taxpayers.
“The policy only restricts, but does not ban, bailed-out companies from share buybacks, bonuses and dividends. That means the wealthy shareholders and executives could profit from taxpayer money that was supposed to save jobs,” said MP Poilievre. “There are also no job guarantees in exchange for the money. The supposed purpose of having taxpayers rescue companies is to protect jobs. Yet there is nothing in this policy to stop businesses from taking the money and dropping the workers.”
Of the limited details that were released, there are some concerning red flags. For example, Minister Bains stated that Industry Canada will be reviewing applications, as opposed to the Canada Emergency Business Account which is overseen through arms-length groups like BDC and EDC. This opens the door for political interference; for the Liberals to pick and choose winners and losers.
“The funds will go out from politically-controlled government bodies with no clear, black-and-white eligibility criteria, so corporations with the most power will get the most money,” said MP Poilievre. “The entire program risks becoming a massive handout to the most influential corporate players with the best lobbyists at the expense of taxpayers and workers.”
It has been 47 days since the Finance Minister promised help for oil and gas within ‘hours or days’. Yet, neither the Industry Minister nor the Finance Minister would clarify this morning if more support would be announced.
“Nothing today reverses or even mitigates the damage that the Trudeau Liberals have done to our energy sector over the last four and a half years,” said MP Rempel Garner. “Conservatives will continue to put forward constructive solutions to help Canadians and businesses affected by COVID-19. We will also push for answers and fight against the Liberals’ ideologically motivated neglect of certain regions and sectors.”