PSAC is raising significant concerns with the government’s proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).
“Private financing will double the cost of much needed public projects, leaving Canadians to pay the bill while private investors reap the rewards,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President. “The federal government can borrow directly at exceptionally low rates, but instead prefers this expensive approach that leaves important decisions behind closed doors.”
Lack of transparency, high cost
PSAC’s concerns with the current proposal include:
- a lack of transparency and accountability in the CIB’s operations, project bidding, and management,
- potential private investor control of how public infrastructure is managed, and
- a doubling in project costs due to the high interest rates charged by private financiers.
Government is rushing the project
While rumors about the CIB circulated in the fall, operational details were only included in the recently tabled Budget Implementation Act, Bill C-44, which the government hopes to pass before the summer. The Finance Minister has said he would like the Bank up and running by the end of 2017.
“We’re talking about a $35 billion undertaking for our next wave of public projects. With something this important, a rush job is just not good enough,” said Benson, “Spending at this level deserves substantive analysis and discussion. Instead, it’s been buried in an omnibus bill with only minimal public debate.”