The State of Canadian Infrastructure
The centrepiece of Justin Trudeau’s 2015 campaign was his promise to invest $180 billion over 12 years in infrastructure. However, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) found there was no additional infrastructure built in Canada over and above what would have otherwise been built. In fact, the Liberals allowed one-third of the infrastructure funding for their Investing in Canada Plan for 2016-2019 to sit unused. The PBO found that the infrastructure plan touted by the Liberals “does not exist.”
The Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) was also a key platform pledge for Justin Trudeau in 2015, promising that it would be operational by 2017 with a clear mission to invest $35 billion of federal funding in revenue-generating infrastructure projects. The PBO also found the CIB has had a limited impact since it was not successful in securing private investment and has failed to invest the billions of dollars set aside for its mandate. To date, the CIB has invested only $4.3 billion of its $35 billion budget. In fact, the CIB has made more headlines for the exorbitant bonuses it has paid its executives than for actual project investments.
Unleashing Canada’s Infrastructure Spending
Canada’s Conservatives will refocus Canada’s infrastructure spending on getting money out the door for shovel-ready projects. Through Canada’s Recovery Plan, Canada’s Conservatives will immediately invest in key projects that will create jobs, cut commute times, improve quality of life for Canadians, and reduce emissions.
A Conservative government will make historic investments in nationally significant projects across the country, such as the SkyTrain extension to Langley (British Columbia), Ontario’s GTA transit plan, Quebec City’s Third Link (Quebec), the Calgary Green Line (Alberta) and VIA Rail’s high-frequency rail project.
Canada’s Conservatives will also ensure that our infrastructure spending benefits Canadian workers by requiring that equipment and materials for federally funded infrastructure projects be purchased from Canadian companies, or from countries where there is a mutual agreement to allow workers to supply each other’s infrastructure projects.
Supporting Northern Infrastructure
Conservatives realize that infrastructure spending is not only needed in our urban centres, but also in our northern and rural areas. Canadians from coast to coast to coast rely on infrastructure like roads, bridges, and ports to get around, including ensuring these projects can weather the harsher conditions in Northern Canada.
A Conservative government will ensure that the territories receive their fair share of infrastructure funding by reserving a funding envelope for them that accounts for the high construction costs and weather conditions in the North. Conservatives will address the Northern infrastructure gap in housing, telecommunications, transportation, energy, and climate change preparedness. Connecting more communities concurrently to the power grid, road and broadband networks will also reduce reliance on diesel fuels and improve the quality of life for residents in these communities.
The Conservative plan for northern infrastructure includes:
-- The Grays Bay Port and Road Project
-- The Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Line
-- Completing the Tuktoyaktuk road and port
-- A large-scale project to provide clean power to the Yukon, developed in partnership with the Government of the Yukon
Bridging the Digital Divide
The Trudeau government set up eight different federal funding programs for broadband, including the Universal Broadband Fund, Connect to Innovate, Connecting Canadians, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Broadband Fund, rural and northern economic development funds, and funding available through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
The Liberals made numerous big-dollar broadband announcements, but like the rest of their infrastructure announcements, few projects have been funded and built as they don’t coordinate with other levels of government, or even among themselves. They also require private sector companies to jump through many regulatory hoops to get projects built. Some rural broadband projects take three to five years to get approved.
Canada’s Conservatives are committed to connecting all of Canada to high-speed Internet by 2025. A Conservative government will consolidate all rural broadband programs and work with telecommunications companies to immediately begin a massive investment in rural broadband access and increased network capacity. Canada’s Conservatives will also work closely with the provinces to coordinate federal investments and ensure money goes out the door to shovel-ready projects.
Ottawa, ON – Today, the Hon. Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, announced his plan to build key infrastructure to get the economy moving through Canada’s Recovery Plan.
“As Prime Minister, I will end the delays and get shovels in the ground on these major infrastructure projects to create jobs and improve the lives of millions of Canadians,” said O’Toole. “We’re going to build the world-class public transit, road, and 5G networks our country needs to compete and get every part of Canada moving again.”
Instead of building the modern infrastructure needed for growing communities across Canada, the Trudeau Liberal government sat on billions of unspent infrastructure dollars and waited months to step up as a full funding partner for nationally significant projects.
Canada’s Conservatives will be partners on key projects across the country, like Ontario’s GTA transit plan, Vancouver’s SkyTrain extension to Langley, Quebec City’s Third Link, and the Calgary Green Line.
Through Canada’s Recovery Plan, Canada’s Conservatives will immediately unlock those unused dollars and invest in shovel-ready projects that will put Canadians to work, cut commute times, and clean up the environment.
Under the infrastructure plan, Canada’s Conservatives will also:
-- Provide more flexibility to municipalities and First Nations by removing onerous requirements to receive federal infrastructure funding.
-- Scrap the failed Canada Infrastructure Bank and commit the money sitting unused on its books to infrastructure projects that can strengthen our economy.
-- Reprioritize the Investing in Canada Plan toward infrastructure projects that would have the maximum benefit for economic recovery.
-- Build digital infrastructure to connect all of Canada to high-speed Internet by 2025.
“Our infrastructure investments are pivotal to rebuilding our economy and making life easier for Canadians,” said O’Toole. “Only Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to build infrastructure faster and create good jobs for Canadians to fuel our recovery.”
Ottawa, ON — Today, the Hon. Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, shared his plan to get government spending under control and balance the budget over the next decade.
“The Trudeau government is spending $424 million a day more than we can afford and neither the Liberals nor the NDP have a plan to prevent endless deficits,” said O’Toole. “Only Canada’s Conservatives have a detailed plan to put Canada’s fiscal house in order and protect social services.”
The Conservative plan to secure Canada’s finances will:
-- Adopt a responsible and measured approach to balance the budget over the next decade.
-- Rein in deficits to address inflation and the rising cost of necessities like groceries and gas.
-- Wind down emergency pandemic supports in a responsible and compassionate way as the recovery gets underway.
-- Invest in targeted stimulus measures, such as infrastructure, to create jobs and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
-- Get back to robust economic growth with Canada’s Recovery Plan, a plan to grow the economy.
“Canadians will have a critical choice in the coming election: to continue down the path of failure and soaring debt with the Liberals and NDP,” said O’Toole. “Or, a Conservative government that will build a stronger Canada with great jobs and rising wages. A Canada where every sector of the economy can share in the success of our great nation.”
Ottawa, ON – Greg McLean, Conservative Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, and the Hon. Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Gérard Deltell, House Leader of the Official Opposition, released the following statement on Enbridge Line 5:
“Canadian energy security is at risk.
“The governor of Michigan is trying to shut down Enbridge Line 5, regardless of the outcome of mediation and the court process, in a blatant violation of the Transit Pipelines Treaty that President Joe Biden supported as a senator.
“If Line 5 is shut down, 30,000 jobs are in jeopardy across Ontario and Quebec, including 5,000 jobs in Sarnia.
“Enbridge Line 5 carries Canadian oil east, providing around half of the crude oil needs of Ontario and Quebec. There is no alternative – if Line 5 stops flowing there will be immediate fuel shortages across Ontario and Quebec, increased fuel prices, and increased truck and rail transportation of oil with the attendant environmental risks and increased GHG emissions.
“Enbridge intends to continue legal operation of Line 5, as approved by the US federal regulator and consistent with the treaty, pending a US court ruling.
“The clock runs out tomorrow. Conservatives urgently call on Prime Minister Trudeau to call President Biden and invoke the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty to ensure this vital infrastructure link remains open. Canadians can’t afford another pipeline failure under this Liberal government.”
Luc Berthold, Conservative Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Communities, issued the following statement after receiving confirmation from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada that they will conduct an audit of the Liberal government’s Investing in Canada Plan:
“Yesterday, I was pleased to receive a letter from Sylvain Ricard, the Interim Auditor General of Canada, confirming that his office will conduct an audit of the Liberals’ Investing in Canada Plan. Last month, Conservatives passed a motion in the House of Commons calling on the Auditor General to investigate the Liberals’ $186.7 billion infrastructure plan, given their lack of transparency and accountability to Canadians.
“The Liberals’ record on infrastructure is abysmal. In 2015, Justin Trudeau promised to run small, temporary deficits in order to invest in infrastructure that would grow the economy, but Canadians now know that was not true. Multiple reports from the Parliamentary Budget Officer have also shown what lengths the Liberals will go to hide how their announced infrastructure funding has actually been used.
“I am pleased that the Auditor General has respected the will of Parliament and agreed to conduct this important audit, which Liberal Members of Parliament tried to block. Canada’s Conservatives will continue to use our strengthened Opposition to ensure that the government is transparent and accountable to Canadians.”