Canada's NDP

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April 11th, 2013

New PBO report shows Conservatives playing shell game with infrastructure

OTTAWA – According to a new Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report, Conservatives are simply shifting infrastructure money around instead of proposing a real plan to tackle the infrastructure deficit facing Canadian communities.

“Jim Flaherty is playing a shell game with infrastructure. As the PBO has shown, the Conservatives are including unused money from old, delayed projects in their calculations of their so-called new infrastructure funds,” said NDP Finance critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale – High Park). “They’re using their own incompetence to cover up their cuts – and that’s wrong. Canadians deserve better.”

The Conservatives are budgeting nearly $2 billion less for infrastructure spending next year, and nearly $5.8 billion less over the next five years. According to the PBO report, the funding cuts were hidden, because lapsed funds from previous years are being included in their calculations.

Conservatives have once again failed to create a plan to address gridlock – which is costing Canadians over $10 billion in lost productivity every year – and the $171 billion infrastructure deficit.

“While the Conservatives claim to be investing in infrastructure, this report reveals that what they’re actually doing is slashing local infrastructure,” said NDP Transport, Infrastructure and Communities critic Olivia Chow (Trinity – Spadina). “These cuts will cost tens of thousands of jobs in cities and communities across Canada.”