Canada's NDP

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May 3rd, 2022

Canada Infrastructure Bank must serve people and communities facing greatest impact of the climate crisis

OTTAWA—Yesterday, a report from the Parliamentary Committee on Transport Infrastructure and Communities recommended that the government abolish the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). The Bank has widely been criticized for failing to address the needs of the communities it is supposed to help. While the CIB has received hundreds of project proposals, it has approved very few, neglecting projects which could help people in favor of a privatization agenda that helps maximize corporate profits at the expense of the public interests.

“Canadians are frustrated that the government isn’t investing in the infrastructure that communities desperately need in the face of the climate crisis. With the recommendation to abolish Canada’s Infrastructure Bank from the Transport Committee, the Liberals are at a crossroads because their current approach has failed,” said NDP Critic for Tax Fairness, Niki Ashton. “They have two options, let the Bank wither and die, having accomplished nothing but enrich their wealthy friends, or they can listen to reason, support my bill and use the Infrastructure Bank to support communities including Indigenous and Northern communities in the fight against climate change.”

Ashton’s private member’s bill would change the mandate of the CIB to give priority to investments aimed at mitigating or adapting to climate change for communities who are facing the brunt of climate emergencies in Canada—particularly in Northern and Indigenous communities. With Ashton’s changes, the Bank would no longer require a private partner before projects are approved.

“After years of waiting for the CIB to fulfill its promise, Canadians cannot wait any longer. Communities feeling the effects of climate change need to know the government is working to help them build the resiliency they need,” said NDP Critic for Infrastructure and Communities, Bonita Zarrillo. “Justin Trudeau is only protecting corporate interests by keeping the CIB in its current format. Local communities need that funding to meet their climate targets and to respond to increasing climate events happening across this country.”