Charlotte MacAulay

Sometimes the spin is all in the wording when it comes to government “lending a hand to industry.”

It is hard to keep up with the flurry of federal funding announcements recently.

No doubt the influx of money is to sweeten the pot prior to voters going to the polls in the fall. And federal dollars injected into any industry is good news for taxpayers, particularly when the funding benefits a good cross section of people involved in the industry.

The $15 million plus (both federal and provincial) for recovery costs to potato farmers who suffered lost crops in the severe weather of 2018 is a great example of government helping industry.

But doling out funding, whether in the form of grants or loans to individual companies under the guise of ‘help’ for the industry seems far fetched.

The more than $900,000 in funding recently announced for Jasper Wyman & Son’s blueberry operation in Morell is being touted as a game changer for the industry.

Injecting public money into the business to streamline production is all well and good, but does nothing to increase the price per pound paid to blueberry farmers

After all it is the farmers who are the backbone of the blueberry industry.

The installation of a state of the art sorting system won’t be much of an advantage if berry growers can’t afford to sell their crops to the processor.

Charlotte MacAulay

(1) comment

Leviticus

What this article describes is what is otherwise known as 'crony capitalism' or better yet, patronage. Those is power use our tax dollars to 'help' businesses to enrich themselves and in doing so implicitly purchase voting loyalty. It's something very Canadian, very Liberal Party and absolutely intrinsic to the island way of life. The working and middle classes are fleeced so that businesses can prosper to the benefit of their owners and shareholders. Politicians call this 'growth' and 'support' - I call it theft, graft and bribery. Millions going to those who already have millions of dollars of their own (hello, Murphy Group!) or to businesses that are obviously not viable. Meanwhile we have a shortage of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and clinics - which, after all, is what I think my tax dollars should be spent on. Not to keep some struggling blueberry concern stumbling along.

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