From 1980 to 2009, governments in Canada have doled out a total of $683.9 billion in subsidies. The big question is whether this government largesse is really needed.
That's the result of a new study by the Fraser Institute. That works out to $1,507 per taxpayer in 2009 for subsidies alone.
Quebec spent the most on government subsidies, followed by Alberta, and Ontario. Prince Edward Island spent the least. While fans of subsidies argue that taxpayer money is needed to correct market failure and support new businesses, many of the businesses that end up receiving the cash are well established....and have more cash-on-hand than what they get from the government.
According to study author Mark Milke, governments need to raise the veil of secrecy over repayment records, and how the money ends up being spent.