FedDev Ontario Spends 5% of Grant Program Budget on German Multinational Represented in Ottawa by Conservative Lobbyist
When I first expanded my Pork Barrel study to include audits of individual programs, I said I’d start by working through Minister Diane Finley’s increasingly incompetent HRSDC first. Since then, however, my attention was piqued by a press release claiming that FedDev Ontario, which is dedicated to promoting small business in southern Ontario, would create 300 jobs by funding the expansion of a frozen pizza plant owned by a very large German multinational corporation. (Oetker is actually more honest than the government, and says that the real number is 120 jobs; the others are construction labour.)
It so happens that Oetker’s registered lobbyist is John Capobianco of Fleishman-Hillard, a former Conservative Party candidate sometimes cited in the media as a leading Conservative strategist.
Supposedly Oetker received its funding from FedDev’s Prosperity Initiative. Of the iniatitive’s three funding streams, two are for non-profits and the third, the Regional Diversification program, is for Ontario businesses with less than 1000 employees. I suppose if you count Oetker Canada as an entirely separate entity from Oetker, which I’m sure Oetker shareholders will cheerfully agree with, than it qualifies for category 3.
Not that I mind Oetker having a plant based in Canada. I wish them all the best with that, and I hope that 120 Londoners find good full-time jobs as promised.
But still. So, all of this said, I’ve decided to make FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative the second target of my Pork Barrel audits. Stay tuned for updates.Tweet