It was a big and shiny promise to Canadians: new roads, better facilities and a booming economy. But has the Prime Minister delivered on that promise?
During the last federal election campaign, the Trudeau Liberals committed to spending $187 billion on infrastructure projects over the next decade.
Trudeau claimed that the infrastructure spending would have a profound impact on the Canadian economy. It was in this context that Trudeau made his infamous statement that the economy would be booming and “the budget would balance itself.”
We all know how that turned out.
And while Canada is buried under a $19 billion deficit (in the year Trudeau promised to be back to a balanced budget), Canadians deserve to know the status of the federal government’s infrastructure superfund.
The government claimed that by running $10 billion annual deficits, it would boost GDP by 0.4% — which works out to about $5 billion in new economic activity.
But in August of last year, a status report revealed that Canada’s GDP has only grown between 0.1% and 0.2% — which is less than $2 billion in new economic activity.
And instead of running $10 billion deficits, Trudeau’s borrowing surged and averaged between $20 billion and $30 billion over the past three years.
So where has this money gone, and do we have anything to show for it?
Writing in the Sun papers, columnist Lorne Gunter explains.
“The spending since the Liberals took over in 2015 has been so haphazard that even the best fiscal minds in the country cannot say how much of the money spent so far has gone to legitimate infrastructure projects (roads, bridges, telecommunications networks, rail lines and waterways) and how much to Liberal pet projects in swing ridings,” wrote Gunter.
“Sucking $30 billion or $40 billion out of the economy for questionable government spending over the past three years, in return for at most a couple billion a year in GDP growth, is a very poor investment,” Gunter concludes.
Gunter is not alone in his harsh criticism.
“This is one of the craziest of Liberal promises,” said Leader of the People’s Party of Canada Maxime Bernier on Twitter.
“To spend $186B (more than $5k per Canadian) on infrastructure over 12 years. Billions unaccounted for, lack of transparency, botched planning, no sign of economic benefit, bottlenecks, etc,” said Bernier.
“Countless billions will be wasted,” he concluded.