VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Government watchdogs are calling into question business tax incentives offered through a program of British Columbia’s Ministry of Finance. The government claims the initiative is successful, having 82 participating companies. Early on, the program was projected to create 13,000 jobs in the province. Current data suggests that number may be as low as 122. The most recent data on additional investment, compiled in 2009, estimates the amount between $91 and $103 million. Actual numbers are hard to come by because the government keeps secret the recipients’ names and incentives awarded. As the program expands, it has offered at least two incentives for large foreign businesses that are not available to Canadians. Following inquiries by the New York Times, several firms, including three with United States sanctions for money laundering, were delisted from an organization recipients of the incentives must join.