May 10th, 2017

NDP to force vote on Liberal Privatization Bank

OTTAWA — The NDP will be forcing a vote in Parliament on the Liberal government’s Infrastructure Bank. New Democrats have raised the alarm about the secrecy surrounding the creation of this bank and the costs that Canadians will face in order for corporations to profit from it.

“The Liberals did not reveal their plans to privatize investment in public infrastructure during the campaign,” said NDP Infrastructure critic, Matthew Dubé. “Now they are planning massive private investments in infrastructure which will cost more and will force Canadians to pay user fees and tolls so that corporations can get their cut.”

An article by the Globe and Mail revealed last week that the Liberal government had given BlackRock, a large corporation that would stand to benefit from the privatisation of public infrastructure, a front seat in the creation of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. Documents revealed extensive interactions between BlackRock and federal officials in the planning and promotion of the Bank.

"The Liberal government seems to be allowing their rich and powerful friends to participate in the planning and development of a Bank that benefits their rich and powerful friends,” added NDP Finance critic, Alexandre Boulerice. “If that isn’t a major conflict of interest, I don’t know what else you could call it.”

Text of the motion:
Mr. Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP) — That, in the opinion of the House: (a) public infrastructure should serve the interests of Canadians, not work to make private investors rich; (b) during the election, the Liberals did not reveal to voters their plans to privatize investment in our public infrastructure; (c) infrastructure built by private investors will cost more than public infrastructure; (d) it is a conflict of interest to allow private corporations, who will be the largest beneficiaries of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to participate in the planning and development of the Bank; (e) the Bank will leave taxpayers with an unacceptable burden of fees, tolls, and privatization that will only make private investors wealthy, to the detriment of the public interest; and (f) the clauses concerning the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s creation should be removed from Bill C-44, Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, so they can be studied as a stand-alone bill.