Liberals Look for Cracks in Budget's Rhetoric
Budget 2010 announcements boasted about the success of the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund (ISF) and promised to stay that course as stimulus funding rolls into its second year. The Opposition has something to say about those positive vibes.
After looking at the fifth report Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Liberal MPs feel the Harper government is “deceiving Canadians about its economic stimulus plan by inflating job creation numbers and altering its own stimulus timelines.”
In a release earlier today, Liberal Industry Critic Marc Garneau said, “The government’s own figures in Budget 2010 show how they’ve fudged the facts in order to make themselves look good. On both job creation and infrastructure delays, there are cracks in the government’s rhetoric.”
Liberal MPs questioned Transport Minister John Baird and Industry Minister Tony Clement at Infrastructure and Industry committees today about the formula used to calculate the government’s job creation numbers, which they feel is deliberately misleading.
“The government is telling Canadians that 220,000 jobs will have been created by the end of this year,” said Liberal Western Economic Diversification Critic Sukh Dhaliwal. “But this calculation is made using a formula that counts on permanent fiscal measures, when in fact the Economic Action Plan is only temporary.”
Misleading wording aside, what it comes down to for the Liberals is that, based on their calculations, nearly 45 per cent of ISF was not delivered this fiscal year, while almost half (48 percent) of the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund and the Provincial/Territorial Base Funding also remains unspent and 93 per cent of the Green Infrastructure Fund hasn’t rolled out.