Disproportionately Large Bailout?
Last night, Andrew Coyne prematurely began celebrating the demise of the US auto bailout and proclaimed the death of â€œany last lingering justification forâ€ a parallel bailout in Canada.
Now that American and Canadian governments have committed auto industry support, he pans Canada’s pledge as being â€œdisproportionately large.â€ (Disproportionate to what, he does not specify.)
Coyne links to a CTV headline: â€œ$3.5 billion auto aid packageâ€. CTV has since changed the figure on its website to $3.3 billion. The Globe and Mail reports â€œan estimated $3.4-billionâ€ but also explains the numerical differences:
[Industry Minister Tony] Clement would not provide a specific figure, but he said the amount of money in the Canadian bailout represents this countryâ€™s one-fifth share of the Detroit Threeâ€™s North American vehicle production and on Canada maintaining that percentage.
In other words, the figure is imprecise because Ottawa and Queenâ€™s Park have committed to strict proportionality. (The reported Canadian-dollar figuresÂ are indeed worth about one-fifth of the US$14 billionÂ from Washington, as opposed to the old $25-billion figure cited by Coyne.)
UPDATE (Dec. 13): I also note that the CTV story explains, “the [Canadian] fund represents 20 per cent of the proposed US$14 billion dollar package in the U.S.”