South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts – opposition critic for infrastructure, communities and urban affairs – is taking the federal government to task for apparent inaction, and what she calls “uncontrolled spending,” on its infrastructure program.
In a news release last Friday – citing a report by the independent parliament budget officer – the Conservative MP charged that the Liberals’ New Infrastructure Plan, which was supposed to help jump-start the economy, has languished and lacks any structure of accountability.
“For months, the opposition has been hearing from communities that Canadians are not seeing the infrastructure results they were promised,” she said.
“The jobs are not being created, the money isn’t flowing and we have been pressuring the Liberals to take action.”
Watts said the report reveals that there is no framework in place to evaluate the program’s performance and limited transparency on how the money is being spent; and, that there is a confirmed $9 billion shortfall of funding for local infrastructure – without which the economic growth and GDP targets outlined in the 2016 budget will not be met.
She said that while infrastructure is critical to the success of Canadian communities, “we need to make sure we have a plan to bring the budget back to balance.”
“This is how (the Liberals) were going to balance the budget,” Watts said. “However, 95 per cent of the infrastructure projects announced since the Liberals took office have not started construction.
“Every time I ask the minister when they’re going to get the money out the door, or fix their plan to grow the economy, the Liberals did not answer the question.”