How much money does Bombardier owe Canadians? It’s a secret

April 8, 2016 – Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News

Bombardier owes Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars but we don’t know exactly how much because the federal government won’t tell us.

The Quebec-based company, which has asked Ottawa for $1 billion in aid to match the Quebec government’s commitment, has received $1.3 billion in “repayable contributions.”

As of this week, Industry Canada says, Bombardier has repaid $590.5 million of that. (On March 14, repayments to date totalled $584.6 million.)

Bombardier owes Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars but we don’t know exactly how much because the federal government won’t tell us.

The Quebec-based company, which has asked Ottawa for $1 billion in aid to match the Quebec government’s commitment, has received $1.3 billion in “repayable contributions.”

As of this week, Industry Canada says, Bombardier has repaid $590.5 million of that. (On March 14, repayments to date totalled $584.6 million.)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government’s still weighing whether to match the Quebec government’s billion-dollar loan to Bombardier.

The aerospace giant is going through a rough patch: The company missed its fourth-quarter earnings target; its stock dipped below $1 for the first time in a quarter-century earlier this year.

The federal government has spent almost half a million dollars on a financial assessment of Bombardier, ordered in August.

But Bombardier will cut Canadian jobs no matter how much money it gets: The company has said it will cut 2,830 Canadian jobs over the next two years.

Air Canada’s intention to buy 45 of Bombardier’s CSeries 300 planes is seen as a good sign; the bankruptcy of a major CSeries customer, less so.

The Canadian and Quebec governments have given Bombardier $467 million toward this project.

It’s possible Bombardier will get millions from two levels of government while being sued for millions by another: Toronto is considering suing the company, which is months behind its delivery schedule for new streetcars.

The city ordered 204 new “low floor” streetcars from Bombardier for just under a billion dollars in 2009.

According to an April, 2014 schedule, the TTC says, Toronto was supposed to have 55 new streetcars in service by the end of 2015.

That projection was reduced to 27, then 14.

Last month the Toronto Transit Commission asked council for an extra $34.1 million to refurbish an aging fleet that should have been replaced by now.

Bombardier has also had trouble with other projects: Its contract to do work on London, UK’s, subway system was “nothing short of a disaster for London,” according to a March report from the London Assembly that blames the city’s transit agency for “grossly” mismanaging the project.

READ MORE: Bombardier blasted for ‘shameful’ performance in UK report

While Transit for London’s strategy was “fundamentally wrong,” the report says, it is not kind to Bombardier.

“As the Mayor explained, Bombardier ‘totally stuffed it up,’” the report reads.

“Even more damning [than] Bombardier’s inability to deliver the programme are claims by [Transit for London] that it was duped by Bombardier from the outset about its expertise and experience.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s