Letters: Corporate business as usual

Letters: Corporate business as usual

There has been a lot of reaction to raises given to executives of Bombardier.

Perhaps paying the bonuses was normal in the mindset of Corporate Canada for “work well done.”

The executives (convinced) the Canadian and Quebec governments to invest $1.4 billion and gave themselves $10.8 million (a 50 per cent increase) reward in a company deeply in debt. During the preceding year or so they also laid off some 14,500 employees. Another “spin.” Put in those terms, they did a heck of a job and the percentage seems reasonable.

We must remember the lean and mean layoffs were in part “demanded” to move the company toward profitability by government and private investors. Indeed the market showed confidence by bidding to buy over a million shares the next day – down a miniscule .05 cents – while only 106,000 shares were for sale.

If we compare remuneration for Bombardier’s CEO Beaudoin, who is 71st in the top 100 in Canada at $5.7 million (2016), to Canada’s banking industry, he is a minor leaguer. The top five banking CEOs in Canada include $11.4 million TD, in 14th place; down to BMO’s $10 million, 25th on the list.

These banks and their CEOs are currently under scrutiny for misleading practices. I wonder how many millions their oligarchy will return to shareholders and the millions of consumers they may have mislead?

Although, perhaps like Bombardier, it is just corporate business as usual.

Harry Atkinson


Why not change the zoning?

Last year, a local architect representing an Ontario Pension Fund, tried to assemble a group of buildings in the heart of Sidney, including the Town Hall, to develop a strata. The development was thwarted by members of the Army and Navy, who refused to join as a key component.

When the town announced a public meeting in 2017 on zoning bylaws, I assumed another development was in the works.

However, the meeting proved to be more about facilitating operations for developers of high-density residential projects, affordable only by people who have cashed out of other high value markets. Sidney has large numbers of people working in retail, home-care, and associated services for our aging population, who can’t afford to live here.

We do have under utilized areas in our single story malls. Why not change the zoning to allow apartments over the parking lots and existing buildings? People could live close to work and public transit reducing the need for parking.

Pension funds and income trusts generally own shopping malls and are looking for increased rental yield from their properties. We should look at property utilization in other parts of the world. It seems we are into another phase of short term development profit at the expense of long term planning for the overall benefit of the community. This is reminiscent of the period in the 1980s when the town lost control of our waterfront to the Port of Sidney developers.

C. Atkinson