Updated: One important fact to keep in mind when reading this: Frank Stronach’s compensation was a cool 40,320,836 last year. Yes, you read that right 40 million and some change. This means the Ontario government (your tax dollars) is essentially covering Frank’s fees. I have yet to hear one squawk from the business press.
The Ontario Liberals earmarked 50 million dollars for a direct grant to Magna. Magna is rapidly becoming like that other Canadian success story Bombardier which was has seen more than its fair share of government subsidies. The question I have is why should we put in 50 million dollars of public money into a company that is notoriously hostile to unions, happy to move jobs outside of Canada and for which “we the people” receive zero direct compensation?
If Magna needs 50 million dollars in investment should not the taxpayers of Ontario receive 571,428 shares in Magna(50 million/ 87.50)? That is, if the government is going to be in the business of investing in Canadian companies why is this happening in the form of grants and not as would any other investor through an equity stake or as a holder of corporate bonds?
This is especially so in light of the fact that Frank Stronach’s attachment to Canada is about as stable as an accountant’s heart. As Frank once said:
To be in business your first mandate is to make money, and money has no heart, soul, conscience [or] homeland”
Given this, surely an ownership stake would not be too much to ask. At least Ontario would have something to sell when Frank’s fickle heart found a more lucrative trough to feed in.