Infrastructure funding falling into an abyss
Next week, on April 1, the 2014 Building Canada Fund will expire. The Harper Conservatives had the opportunity to put forward a plan for long-term, stable funding for municipal infrastructure. This is especially important because infrastructure projects require multi-year planning and substantial funding.
Last year, the Building Canada Fund was $1.65 billion but this year that amount has been cut by 88% and so this infrastructure funding will be capped at $0.21 billion. $0.21 billion sounds like a lot of money, but it will be all the federal funding for every municipality in the country to maintain and develop municipal roads, water systems, public transit and other core infrastructure. Kingston has some immediate major infrastructure needs, the highest priority being an overpass for John Counter Boulevard over the main CN rail line.
Here is a graph based on the federal government’s own Budget showing the significant drop for the Building Canada Fund for 2015-16:
It looks like the Conservative Party is in a rush to “balance” the budget in time for the 2015 election, but we all know that a budget can’t just be balanced by cutting investments in infrastructure for two years. That type of accounting trick is more of a manufactured budget. A truly balanced budget reflects the long-term projects the country needs and plans accordingly.
Right now, the Liberal Party is asking Canadians about which infrastructure projects need funding. Let us know!