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Transparency needed to ensure federal infrastructure program’s value
July 6, 2017

Canadians should know the benefits that the government achieves by its expenditure of $186.7 billion on the federal government’s infrastructure program, said the members of the Senate Committee on national finance.

The Government put 32 different departments in charge of approving applications, as a result, there isn’t one clearing house for information about all the projects.

To give Canadians the clear picture on the 12-year infrastructure program, the Committee took the rare step of collecting as much data as possible on more than 6,000 federally approved infrastructure projects since April 2016, compiling them into one source, and making it available to Canadians.

More transparency is one of the seven recommendations the Committee made in its report released in July 2017, Smarter Planning, Smarter Spending: Ensuring Transparency, Accountability and Predictability in Federal Infrastructure Programs.

The Committee has asked the federal government to release all known data on their infrastructure projects, except where national defence and security are at risk.

“Canadians deserve to see the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about how their government is spending their money,” said Committee Chair Senator Percy Mockler. “This Committee took on this task because, the federal government has not been transparent enough about this program.”

“Investing in public infrastructure has been an effective way to add to Canada’s social capital while putting Canadians to work and encouraging economic growth, but any program must be transparent,” added Senator Anne C. Cools, the Committee’s Deputy Chair.

The Committee also recommends that the government:

  • Develop a national strategy on infrastructure with clear priorities, concrete objectives and specific performance measures.
  • Report to Canadians about how its infrastructure spending has achieved its goals of job creation and stimulating economic growth.
  • Define clearly the governance of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, its business model, practices and objectives.