Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jack Layton Contradicts Harper's Rosy Announcements

After Stephen Harper's Smoke and Mirrors announcement that 80% of stimulus money was out the door and he was going to fix EI, people in the know, have called it a load of horse doo doo.

Because this government has lied to us so much, I rarely, if ever, believe anything they tell me, and was pleased that Jack Layton went public with his doubts that this time was any different.

I've always liked Jack Layton and really hope that the NDP and Liberals will seek some kind of spirit of co-operation next election, so that vote-splitting doesn't put this corrupt and inept Conservative crew back in power.

We really need to get rid of them before it's too late and they totally destroy this country.

'Virtually nothing coming' from Tory stimulus fund

Little cash has flowed for big-ticket projects, latest figures show
Jun 14, 2009
Bruce Campion-Smith
Toronto Star

OTTAWA – Despite public pledges to accelerate infrastructure spending, the federal Conservatives have spent just a quarter of their $15 billion infrastructure fund, new figures show.

And the numbers reveal that very little cash has so far flowed for some big-ticket announcements.

For example, Ottawa has so far spent just $1.9 million out of a promised $622 million for the extension of Toronto's subway into Vaughan. A promised $100 million expansion of the Trans-Canada Highway near Banff has received just $5 million, and a $34.5 million road-widening in Calgary has only received $478,923, federal figures confirm.

"There's virtually nothing coming," NDP Leader Jack Layton said.

"There are billions of dollars of stimulus that should have been flowing already," he said. "Some of the people being laid off across the country could have moved into those construction jobs."

In fact, the funds are flowing even slower than forecast in the 2007 budget, before the financial crisis hit. According to that timetable, programs under the Building Canada Plan should have pumped more than $5 billion into projects by this fiscal year. Yet the amount spent so far is $1.3 billion less than forecast, calling into question whether pledges to boost spending are sincere, Layton said in an interview.

"I've always suspected that when Stephen Harper announces big sums of money to be spent, he so fundamentally doesn't believe in it ... the money is very unlikely to flow at all," Layton said.

The Conservatives have made repeated pledges to accelerate the pace of infrastructure funding to help get municipal projects underway and people to work, dating back to last fall's throne speech and the Jan. 27 budget.

Yet a tally of infrastructure projects nationwide provided to NDP MP Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic) by the federal transport department, which is responsible for the infrastructure file, appears to paint a different picture. According to an NDP analysis of those numbers, the government has spent:

- just 27 per cent or $2.4 billion of the $8.8 billion earmarked for major infrastructure and small communities.
- nothing out of its $1.25 billion budget for public-private partnership fund.
- 36 per cent or $760 million of the $2.1 billion budget for gateways and border crossings.
- 13 per cent or $130 million of the $1 billion for Asia-Pacific gateway and corridor initiatives.
- 20 per cent or $471 million out of a $2.28 billion budget for provincial and territorial base funding.

Yet, while mayors and councillors from across the country have been griping about the slow pace of funding, the tide appears to have turned and projects are now getting the green light, said Basil Stewart, the mayor of Summerside, P.E.I., and president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

"Things are starting to move fairly quickly. We're pleased about that," Stewart said. That was echoed by federal Transport Minister John Baird, who said in the Commons Friday, "Shovels are going in the ground as we speak." Under federal policy, funding starts only once construction gets underway.

The threat of an election has got the Conservatives moving, hoping to run a photo-op marathon this summer. Too little too late?

More Postings on Jack Layton:

1. Down in the Polls Layton Doesn't Want an Election

2. With Jack Layton in the Shadows is it the Time to Unite the Left?

3. I Think it Will Take More Than a Name Change to Revitalize the NDP

4. The Name Game: Talk About the Pot Calling the Kettle Black

5. Are Jack Layton and the NDP Headed in the Right Direction?

6. I Am So Damn Mad at Jack Layton and the NDP NOW flogging the Carbon Tax!

7. The NDP and Conservatives Have Formed an Alliance

8. I have to Share This Video of Jack Layton. It Cracked Me Up!

9. Jack Layton Says No Backroom Deals and Jason Kenney Agrees

10. Were Jack Layton and the NDP Behind the "Flash Mob" Protests?

11. So Maybe Jack Layton Can Tell us Where the Money Went

12. Jack Layton With Egg on His Face Joins the Reform-Conservatives

13. Before You Lambast Jack Layton Remember This is a Democracy

14. Jack Layton Thinks Harper's HST Could Hurt Conservatives Election Chances

No comments:

Post a Comment