I did a blog on this a couple of days ago . It got little traction.
I was showing how scholars even propose a bunch of things that sound nice to make Canada more competitive but lack addressing the true basics like balanced budgets, lower taxes, efficient regulatory system , productivity —-FIRST!
Well, well, well, here are two more reasons , —exhibit A and B
The Parliamentary Budget Ofiice released a report a few days ago that shows that this wonderful Federal Government will not spend $3billion that is allocated to be spent this year. And of that $3 billion , one billion is the vaunted infrastructure money .
We can’t even spend the money when it is available, sitting there waiting to be spent.
Look up the parliamentary Budget office yourself and read the depressing news.
I just read a report by the Senate Finance Committee( they do some good work, if only the press would cover it more) on the Federal Infrastructure Program —well not program but programs. This is UNBELIEVABLE :
‘ As can be seen from the foregoing discussion, the Government of Canada has created a multitude of programs to support infrastructure, each with its own priorities, terms and conditions, timelines, and application and reporting processes. As the older programs continue when new ones are announced, the number of programs simply increases.
During the current fiscal year (2016–2017), Infrastructure Canada is managing fifteen infrastructure programs (see Figure 2 at page VII). To make matters even more complex, Budget 2016 expanded the concept of infrastructure to include green and social infrastructure, and provided funding to 30 programs, some of which are new and others that were pre-existing, managed by nine federal organizations and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (see Appendix C).
From a municipal perspective, it can be bewildering. Christopher Stoney, Associate Professor of the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, told the committee that, “Because of all the multiple levels of funding, some of the places we went to have over 300 sources of funding for infrastructure if you count provincial and federal.”22 He went on to state: “They enjoyed taking us into a back room office where all the books and computer programs were laid out to deal with this plethora of funding mechanisms, all with different conditions.
It could be spent on this; it had to be spent in that time; it can or cannot be banked. It’s an absolute nightmare. How a citizen can possibly hold anyone accountable based on this diverse funding is beyond me.”23
The committee agrees. In the current situation, it is very difficult to know how best to access federal infrastructure funds, especially in jurisdictions with limited resources. In some cases, one project can be eligible under several different funds. Additionally, municipalities would need to be in contact with ten different organizations for the various aspects of federal infrastructure funding.
You wonder why I get upset and take on scholars like the one the other day hypothesizing in fancy ideas that leave out money and budgets and regulations ?
WE CAN”T SPEND THE MONEY EVEN WHEN IT IS THERE CRYING TO BE SPENT!
AND THE NUMBER AND MULTIPLICITY OF PROGRAMS IS A NIGHTMARE !
And I have people telling me some theoretical gobble gook about how to get our country moving????????