Senate criticizes federal infrastructure program as too complex

Senate criticizes federal infrastructure program as too complex
A Senate review of Ottawa’s approach to infrastructure spending warns it is overly complicated, with money spread across 31 different organizations and no clear, national plan. After a year-long review of the Liberal government’s approach, the Senate’s National Finance Committee released a report Tuesday that calls on Ottawa to streamline the application process so that provinces and municipalities have a “single window,” or department, to turn to when seeking federal infrastructure cash. “With 31 different departments involved with infrastructure, things get scattered and you lose the alignment and the focus,” Conservative Senator Larry Smith, the chair of the committee, said in an interview. The committee expressed concern that the government’s approach appears to be more focused on measuring whether money is spent rather than measuring whether the spending has achieved specific results, such as improving trade. “The performance indicator has to be more than start and finish,” Mr. Smith said. The federal Liberals have dedicated $186-billion for spending on infrastructure between now and 2028, under five broad categories – public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation, and rural and northern communities. That money includes infrastructure programs that were in place before the Liberals were elected in 2015 as well as new spending promised since the election. The senators warn that by further dividing those categories into smaller, application-based programs with different rules and deadlines, it makes it harder for the money to get out the door. Smaller municipalities in particular may not have the resources to know how to properly apply for the available money when so many different departments are involved, the report warns. The Senate finance committee has started to track federal infrastructure spending in a database and its members plan to continue monitoring the government’s plans. The committee said it was too early to form a clear opinion on the merits of the government’s promised Canada Infrastructure Bank, which is expected to launch this year in an effort to pool public funds with money from private-infrastructure investors such as banks and pension funds. Brook Simpson, a spokesperson for Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, said in a statement Tuesday that the government will be releasing a full, long-term infrastructure plan in the spring. The plan will include a vision statement as well as new policies on how the expected outcomes will be measured. “The Senate report recommends that the programs delivered by Infrastructure Canada be streamlined and we have already started doing so,” he said. “Municipalities across the country and the [Federation of Canadian Municipalities] have applauded the simplicity of the new programs we have delivered and we will continue to work with them, as well as parliamentarians, as we design our long term plan.” Follow Bill Curry on Twitter: @curryb

5 thoughts on “Senate criticizes federal infrastructure program as too complex

  1. I must voice my affection for your kindness in support of people who should have assistance with this one area of interest. Your real commitment to getting the message along appeared to be astonishingly helpful and has regularly helped women much like me to get to their goals. Your warm and friendly information denotes a whole lot to me and somewhat more to my office workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  2. I have to show some appreciation to you for bailing me out of such a trouble. Right after exploring through the the web and obtaining suggestions which are not pleasant, I was thinking my entire life was well over. Living devoid of the strategies to the problems you have resolved by way of your good article is a critical case, as well as the ones which could have negatively affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered the website. That mastery and kindness in maneuvering all the things was valuable. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a step like this. I am able to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks so much for this professional and amazing help. I will not be reluctant to recommend your web page to any individual who would need tips on this problem.

  3. I and also my friends ended up digesting the good hints located on your web site and then then I got an awful feeling I never expressed respect to you for them. These women were for this reason glad to read through all of them and have now actually been making the most of those things. Many thanks for genuinely so helpful and also for pick out this sort of awesome ideas millions of individuals are really wanting to be aware of. Our own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to earlier.

  4. I wanted to post you one little bit of observation to finally thank you so much the moment again considering the gorgeous solutions you’ve shared in this article. It was tremendously generous with you giving freely what exactly many people might have offered for an ebook to generate some cash for their own end, even more so since you might well have done it if you ever considered necessary. These principles likewise acted to become a good way to realize that many people have the identical keenness like my own to understand many more with regards to this matter. I think there are some more pleasant situations in the future for those who read your blog.

  5. I am glad for writing to make you understand what a fantastic experience my cousin’s child experienced viewing your web page. She picked up a wide variety of things, most notably what it’s like to possess an amazing giving nature to get the rest without hassle fully grasp a number of problematic subject matter. You undoubtedly did more than people’s expectations. Many thanks for offering those essential, safe, educational as well as easy thoughts on that topic to Mary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *