Hearing from the candidates - 2017 Conservative Leadership
Over the course of the next several weeks, ReNew Canada will be collecting information from each of the candidates in the Conservative Leadership race regarding their policy or position on infrastructure spending in Canada.
We have emailed a request to all 14 of the campaigns in an effort to collect the information. All 14 were given the exact same request, which asked for “1-2 paragraphs that explain (candidate name here) position or policy on infrastructure spending.”
As we receive the information, this space will become a running document with the submissions from each candidate.
The candidates are:
“Conservatives should be defending the principle of subsidiarity, which is inherent in our Constitution. This means that issues should be handled by the most local competent authority, the one closest to the people. This way, each province, each region, each community, develops according to its citizens’ preferences and priorities, and is forced to act responsibly because it pays for what it wants.
The federal government has important national functions to fulfill. It would be better able to fulfill them if it stopped trying to solve every problem in the country, especially by violating our Constitution and intruding on provincial jurisdictions. For this reason, Ottawa should stop funding local infrastructure, and leave cities and provinces responsible to deal with their own needs. Apart from infrastructure of national importance, there is no reason for the federal government to get involved.”
“I will invest a majority of the Government of Canada’s infrastructure budget on economy-enhancing construction projects. In addition to roads, bridges and railways, this means ports, border crossings, regional airports and broadband connectivity. I will prioritize concrete trade corridors over abstract green experiments. Canada is a resource-rich trading nation. We need reliable, efficient public works to take our products to market. As Prime Minister, my criteria for federal funding will be evidence-based. I will fund the infrastructure that creates the most jobs for Canadians and contributes to the strongest national economy. With limited resources, it is imperative we maximize every federal dollar spent on construction projects to ensure we get people back to work and create infrastructure that is built to last – these structures are the steel of our nation’s economic engine.
I will cover a higher percentage of public-private partnerships (“P3”) project costs to recognize the sometimes significant up-front cost some municipalities and provinces face when undertaking these types of value-for-money arrangements. These P3s transfer risk to the private sector, which has a better track record than Government for on-time, on-budget performance. This saves taxpayers money. Unfortunately the upfront costs and complexity of P3s often leads to cities procuring infrastructure through traditional, outdated ways without effective risk sharing. In the end, this results in delays and cost overruns. The Federal government should cover a higher-percentage of the costs for P3s so that we are incentivizing the use of smart procurement and maximizing government investments. I will also knock down another barrier to municipalities using the P3 approach by putting the flexibility in our Federal programs to spread its share of the costs over the duration of a project (should the municipality choose to do so) as opposed to a one-time transfer. For example, a P3 may be a 30-year agreement, and for communities having those annual payments each year for 30 years can crowd out other spending, even though they are saving money over the long-term by doing a P3. In order to assist municipalities in structuring P3s, assisting in soft costs and attracting private sector interest, I will create a project preparation facility that can provide legal, technical, financial and advisory services to ensure value for taxpayer dollars are maximized.”
The convention to replace former Prime Minister Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada will take place May 27th in Toronto.