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Freeland says feds will voice concerns to Air Canada over executive bonuses


June 2, 2021
The Canadian Press


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OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the government will voice its concerns about Air Canada doling out millions in bonuses to its executives as the company was negotiating a federal bailout.

Freeland says she is disappointed there are some businesses that seem not to be behaving as responsible corporate citizens while receiving taxpayer-funded federal aid to survive the pandemic.

In April, the airline and government agreed to a $5.9 billion loan package that includes money to help refund passenger tickets, but also capped executive compensation at $1 million until 12 months after the loan is fully repaid.

The government also paid $500 million for a six per cent stake in the country’s biggest airline, which Freeland says was done to ensure taxpayers could benefit once Air Canada’s revenue rose once regular travel resumed.

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Air Canada disclosed in its annual proxy circular to shareholders that it gave $10 million in bonuses to people the investor called instrumental to the airline’s survival over the past year.

Freeland made the comments during a call with reporters where she outlined the details of a new federal program to help eligible companies rehire laid-off staff by underwriting part of the payroll.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2021