Earlier this week, the Canadian federal government sold all of its 73.4 million shares of GM stock to investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. for a price tag of $2.61 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Well, it actually isn’t because after all is said and done the Maple Leaf country will have lost a staggering $800 million on the investment.
That may sound like an extraordinary loss, but it is actually nothing when compared to the losses that the U.S. government accrued, which totaled an astonishing $11.2 billion.
No, citizens are actually not focused on the losses, as they say it was a good investment that saved a lot of jobs (and all that usual rah rah). Instead, they are angry that the government sold the shares now during a time that the Canadian government is in serious negotiations with GM to keep them and their manufacturing plants in the country.
Leading this charge of anger is UNIFOR– the Canadian union that represents approximately 21,000 autoworkers. According to UNIFOR, there was no reason for the government to sell the stocks at this point in time because GM is currently contemplating abandoning many plants across the country, including a huge factory in Oshawa that is in charge of Chevrolet Camaro production.
UNIFOR National President Jerry Dias says, “It is remarkably short-sighted of the federal government to sell off its shares in GM at a time when there has been widespread agreement that securing GM’s future in Canada is critical.”
Dias continues, “The federal government is selling off its shares for short-term political gain, as it prepares its last budget before the next federal election. We need leaders with more vision, strategy and savvy than this.”
“This was an unwise and unhelpful move by the federal government. That said, we remain confident that GM can have a strong future in Canada because just as GM is good for Canada, Canada is good for GM. But at some point very soon, the federal and provincial governments are going to have to take decisive action to secure the future of GM.”
So, should we feel bad for Canada as they are now faced with the prospect of being screwed twice by GM? Absolutely not. They should have known that when you mix business and politics this is the the type of shit that often happens.
However, at the same time, somebody needs to slap GM across their fat pompous asses. If they leave after Canada provided them with a massive bailout, they are even more pathetic than we may have originally thought.