FIRST READING: Dropping $24 billion on EV subsidies is an even worse idea than you thought – by Tristin Hopper (National Post – July 18, 2023)

Trudeau might be betting the farm on technology that’s already on the edge of obsolescence

In just a couple months, Canada has put up $24 billion for foreign carmakers to build electric vehicle batteries on Canadian soil. First, there was $13 billion for Volkswagen to build a battery “gigafactory” in St. Thomas, Ont. And then $11 billion for Stellantis to build a similar facility in Windsor, Ont.

This is corporate welfare at a level utterly unprecedented in Canadian history. And given how the next few years shape up, this could well have the makings of the most expensive boondoggle in Canadian history.

In the annals of Canadian government boondoggles, an oft-cited example are the B.C. Fast Ferries. In the 1990s, the B.C. NDP Government championed a plan to outfit the B.C. Ferries fleet with locally made high-speed catamarans. Instead, the “PacifiCat” vessels were so deeply flawed that they were decommissioned almost immediately. Adjusting for inflation, however, the fiasco only lost about $770 million.

Or there’s the ignominious saga of Montreal’s Mirabel International Airport. In the early 1970s, the Pierre Trudeau government led an effort to build the world’s largest airport just outside Montreal, intending it to be a showcase facility serving as Canada’s primary air gateway.

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