Canada Infra Bank Hits Political Headwinds

The Canadian government’s plan for a Cdn$35-billion infrastructure bank is getting a rough ride from the left, the right, and critics with no visible political affiliation but who think it’s just a bad idea. But it looks as though the Canada Infrastructure Bank will go ahead because of the Liberal majority in Parliament, which has been considering the bank as part of the 2017 budget. In fact, the government is already advertising for a chair, a CEO, and directors. The bank is intended to enlist private capital in nation-building revenue-generating projects that otherwise might not be built.
The federal Liberal government formally launched the bank with the March budget, which gave both Conservative and New Democratic Party (social democrat) opposition politicians a public platform to take it on. They went to town, criticizing it as a boondoggle, a way for Liberals to reward friends with fat infrastructure contracts and a subsidy for the “one percent.” There was also a Parliamentary manoeuver to try and block the bank, but the Liberals turned that back.

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About Bill Reinhardt

Editor of Public Works Financing newsletter

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