Province Responds to Auditor Generals Report

first_imgFinance Minister Graham Steele says the province plans to introduce legislation this fall that will provide the auditor general with more access to government documents protected by cabinet and solicitor-client privilege. Mr. Steele was responding to the auditor general’s report released today, June 2. He said government is working to address the issue of access to cabinet documents and solicitor client privilege. “Clearly, the government and the auditor general both want the same thing,” said Mr. Steele. “This is a complex issue that will take time to resolve. Discussions with the auditor general will continue this summer with the goal of introducing legislation in the fall. That legislation will allow the auditor general to access the documents he requires to complete his audits.” Mr. Steele said the government wants to provide the access sought by the auditor general while, at the same time, putting in place protections that ensure the auditor general cannot be compelled to release cabinet documents and information protected by solicitor-client privilege to outside parties. “We will ensure that the auditor general can effectively and efficiently carry out his duties under the act while at the same time protecting the ability of cabinet, departments and government agencies, boards and commissions to receive the best advice.” The government plans to adopt a similar approach to other jurisdictions to ensure the auditor general has access to information. This will be accomplished through a limited waiver that extends cabinet and solicitor client privilege to the auditor general. This approach will ensure the auditor general is not compelled to release privileged documents.last_img read more

WatchBombardier Inc firms up deal with Quebec for 1 billion investment in

MONTREAL — After months of negotiations, Bombardier Inc. has reached a definitive agreement with the Quebec government on a US$1-billion investment in the CSeries passenger jet program.The two sides have been working out details of the agreement since the plan was originally announced in October.The Montreal-based company is slated to receive the money in two instalments of US$500 million, the first June 30 and the second Sept. 1.Once the Quebec government’s investment is complete, it will own 49.5 per cent of a new limited partnership with all the assets, liabilities and obligations of the CSeries aircraft program, including larger versions of the plane beyond the CS100 and CS300 should they be developed.Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said the investment demonstrates the provincial government’s confidence in the company’s largest aircraft.“Their investment will accelerate the momentum we’ve created, strengthen customer confidence in the aircraft and provide Bombardier with the financial flexibility needed to compete and win,” he said in a statement.Air Canada Inc threatens to walk away from Bombardier Inc CSeries deal if legislation over maintenance isn’t passedBombardier Inc sells amphibious aircraft program, sells 10 CRJ regional jets to unnamed customer for US$472 millionBombardier Inc cutting 200 Toronto positions in move to outsource some Q400 manufacturingPremier Philippe Couillard has said Quebec’s intervention in the CSeries was key to securing orders from Air Canada and Delta Air Lines.Air Canada said Thursday that it continues to work on finalizing a contract with the manufacturer for up to 75 CSeries planes after the Senate passed amendments giving it relief from obligations under the Air Canada Public Participation Act, which required it to perform heavy maintenance on its fleet in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga, Ont.Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the federal government is continuing to negotiate potential financial support for Bombardier, which is seeking $1 billion from Ottawa.“We believe that long-term it’s (the aerospace sector) one of the more innovative places in the economy, so in that regard having a leading company like Bombardier is important and we’re engaging with them to think about how we can ensure that the sector remains successful,” he told reporters after speaking in Toronto to the Economic Club of Canada.Morneau wouldn’t discuss stumbling blocks but Ottawa has reportedly pushed Bombardier to change its voting structure, something the founding family that controls the company through multiple voting shares insists it has no intention of doing.The CSeries aircraft is two years behind schedule and has incurred about US$2 billion in cost overruns. The first plane is slated to be handed over to Swiss Airlines next week and enter into service July 15.Quebec Transport Minister Jacques Daoust said the partnership with Bombardier will ensure the employment of up to 2,500 workers on the program.“So this is a win-win relationship that will benefit all Quebecers and the entire aviation sector,” he said in a news release.The new entity will be headed by Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. The board will contain three Bombardier nominees — former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson, who will be chairman, Bellemare and chief financial officer John Di Bert. Quebec will nominate two members.Under the revised deal, Quebec will receive warrants to purchase up to 100 million Bombardier shares or about 4.26 per cent of its outstanding shares. That’s half as many at the same price of $2.21 per share that was outline in the preliminary deal.Spokeswoman Sylvie Gauthier said the change was made to reflect Bombardier’s improved financial position.“We’ve derisked the program, we’ve had sales; the shares are nearly double where it was so that all comes to play in the negotiations,” she said in an interview.She said Quebec’s contribution will be used to help ramp up production until it reaches a break-even point in 2020 with 90 to 120 planes produced a year. read more