SURREY, BC: Yesterday, the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report called “Following the Money,” that focuses on the Liberal Government’s New Infrastructure Plan. South Surrey-White Rock MP and Opposition Critic for Infrastructure, Communities and Urban Affairs Dianne Watts outlines the Opposition’s concerns with the findings of the report.
“For months, the Opposition has been hearing from communities that Canadians are not seeing the infrastructure results they were promised: the jobs are not being created, the money isn’t flowing, and we have been pressuring the Liberals to take action,” said Watts. “Yesterday, the PBO confirmed our concerns, after spending a considerable amount of time investigating the Liberals’ infrastructure plan.”
The report includes a variety of issues with the Liberals’ infrastructure plan, including:
• The Liberals have no framework in place to evaluate the program’s performance;
• There is limited transparency on how the money is being spent;
• There is a confirmed shortfall of $9 billion of infrastructure funding for local infrastructure; and
• The Liberals will not meet the economic growth and GDP targets that were outlined in Budget 2016 without getting the $9 billion out the door immediately.
“The Liberals’ infrastructure program was supposed to be the key focus of their economic growth plan,” said Watts. “This is how they were going to balance the budget. However, 95% of the infrastructure projects announced since the Liberals took office have not started construction. Every time I ask the Minister when they’re going to get the money out the door or fix their plan to grow the economy, the Liberals did not answer the question.”
“While infrastructure is critical for the success of Canadian communities, we need to make sure that we have a plan to bring the budget back to balance,” added Watts. “The Finance Department has said that unless something changes, Canada won’t see another balanced budget until 2055. That means if you turn 18 years old today, you won’t see another balanced budget until you’re 56. Now the PBO has confirmed that the key pillar of their economic growth program is not being handled properly, there’s no way to measure how well they’re doing, we don’t know how the money is being spent, and we’re not on track to get all the projects built by their deadlines. This is a big issue for Canadians, and we will continue to fight against this uncontrolled spending.”
The full report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer is available here: http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/web/default/files/Documents/Reports/2017/NIP/New%20Infrastructure%20Plan_EN.pdf
For more information:
Office of Dianne Watts, MP
(South Surrey – White Rock)