Infrastructure Bank billed Canadians $1.5M for travel and publicity

The Canada Infrastructure Bank spent over $1.5 million worth of expenses for travel and publicity from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020. 

According to an Inquiry of Ministry report tabled by Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna, the bank also spent two-thirds of its budget on paying staff despite being created to invest in Canadian infrastructure.

Disclosures reveal that the “total amount spent on administration” was nearly $36 million, part of which was $833,960 spent on travelling and $708,132 for communications services. 

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Bank had paid $3.8 million in “termination benefits” after it had gone through two board chairs and two executives. 

The Bank was first created three years ago by the Trudeau government. When announced, $35 billion in funding was dedicated to the project. 

Since then, critics have accused the government of failing to deliver on any major infrastructure developments. 

Last month, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer grilled McKenna on the Bank’s progress during a parliamentary transport committee meeting. 

“How many projects has the Infrastructure Bank completed in its almost four years of existence and $35 billion in allocation of taxpayers’ money?” Scheer asked McKenna.

“The Canada Infrastructure Bank is now hitting its stride. I have high expectations for the Canada Infrastructure Bank,” said McKenna. 

“Can you just tell the committee how many projects have been finished?” repeated Scheer. 

“It doesn’t work like that,” said McKenna.

“I’m assuming the answer is zero. I don’t know why, if the answer is zero, you can’t just say zero,” replied Scheer. 

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