A new report suggests the Trudeau government’s infrastructure plan continuously fails to meet its goals and that its failures are hidden from the public due to poor reporting.
In a report released Thursday, Auditor General Karen Hogan sharply criticized the government’s $188 billion Investing in Canada Plan, warning that many goals may not be met at the current rate.
“This plan is important because the government is investing $188 billion to generate long‑term economic growth, improve communities’ resiliency, support the transition to a green economy, and improve social inclusion and socio‑economic outcomes for all Canadians,” she said.
“The absence of clear and complete reporting on the Investing in Canada Plan makes it difficult for parliamentarians and Canadians to know whether progress is being made against the intended objectives.”
Hogan says that approximately 20% of all funding allocated for infrastructure in its first three years under the plan went unspent, with “incomplete and inconsistent” record-keeping making it hard for her to provide a meaningful analysis of how the plan is going.
The Investing in Canada Plan is part of the Trudeau government’s ambitious infrastructure goals. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been promising to deliver more infrastructure projects since being elected in 2015.
Infrastructure critic Andrew Scheer says the report shows that the Trudeau government is more concerned about politics than improving Canada’s infrastructure.
“This devastating report from the Auditor General has determined that half of the funds the government has committed to infrastructure are actually the legacy funds of the previous Conservative government. They have put their name on someone else’s homework,” he said in a statement.
Around $92 billion worth of funding in the Investing in Canada Plan actually came from Harper-era infrastructure programs.
“The fact is the Liberals have no idea if their infrastructure plan is even working. This is bad news for Canadians looking forward to new critical infrastructure projects for their communities,” Scheer said.
Scheer added that the Liberals infrastructure failing are partly due to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, an ailing crown-corporation which has never completed a project since its creation by the Liberals in 2017. Scheer says the Conservatives will scrap the bank if elected.