Infrastructure Funding Fails Rural Ontario
OTTAWA, ON – November 4, 2016, during their Fiscal Update, the Liberal government announced new infrastructure funding and that they will make changes to previously announced infrastructure spending in Budget 2016. These changes leave rural Canada out of most infrastructure funding options.
The fiscal update promised $81 billion in new infrastructure spending for initiatives across the country. $25.9 billion will be viable over the next 11 years for public transit infrastructure projects, $21.9 billion for green infrastructure projects, $21.9 billion for social infrastructure projects, $10.1 billion for trade and transportation infrastructure projects and only $2 billion dollars for rural and northern communities. Rural Canadians have only been allocated an abysmal 2.5% of the Liberal government’s infrastructure fund.
This bad news for rural Canadians is coupled with the news that the $15 billion that was promised in Budget 2016 to communities for infrastructure projects will now no longer be available. Instead, the Liberal government will use the money to finance a new infrastructure bank. The infrastructure bank will only provide funding projects worth $100 million or more, virtually guaranteeing most rural communities across Canada will not qualify.
“This Fiscal Update is an insult to rural Canadians” said MP Ben Lobb. “Removing $15 billion previously available to communities to create a centralized infrastructure bank will not benefit Canadians; it only create a new level of bureaucratic red tape. Infrastructure funding should be fairly available to all Canadians, not just those who live in cities. Rural Canada needs infrastructure funding, and the 2.5% funding allocation will leave our communities out”.
To date only 1% of the announced infrastructure projects have begun construction. The Liberal government continues to promise huge deficits will create jobs and economic growth but clearly their plan is not working and Canadians are stuck with the bill.