$372M given to Bombardier was for research & development, Innovation Minister says

Federal and Quebec politicians were pressed Tuesday, April 4th, on whether their governments can or should be allowing Bombardier executives to grant themselves pay raises while taxpayers are helping keep the company afloat.

Planned pay raises for six executives are in the works, though now delayed by a year after a sustained public outcry last week.

Both federal and Quebec Liberals appeared to be trying to close the door on the controversy, arguing the pressure saw the company take the appropriate action.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said he understands why Canadians are concerned and disappointed about the situation, but stressed that the $372-million the federal government loaned the company was for research and development.

In Quebec three opposition motions are seeking to address the issue, including allowing a government representative onto the company's board of directors.

But Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says if governments get too involved, they send a negative signal to business.