Data show Con­ser­va­tives us­ing in­fra­struc­ture fund as cam­paign fod­der

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s mar­quee, multi­bil­lion-dol­lar in­fra­struc­ture fund has been hand­ing out money at a slow pace, newly re­leased fig­ures show, prompt­ing com­plaints that the gov­ern­ment is play­ing pol­i­tics with the cash.

About 92 per cent of the $10bil­lion pro­vin­cial-ter­ri­to­rial stream of the New Build­ing Canada Fund re­mains un­spent, with about $782 mil­lion al­lo­cated through the start of this fis­cal year, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures tabled in Par­lia­ment last month.

In­fra­struc­ture Canada, the depart­ment re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the cash, says that it may take some time to get the money out the door, es­pe­cially given that the com­mit­ment is for a 10year pe­riod.

Depart­ment spokes­woman Fa­tima Baal­baki said in an email that of­fi­cials are re­view­ing “sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions’’ and ex­pect more to flow in.

“Pro­po­nents set the pace of their in­fra­struc­ture projects and many large-scale projects take many years to com­plete,’’ Baal­baki said.

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