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Why is much needed infrastructure funding being cut?

Dear editor,
Investments in public infrastructure are the single most cost-effective way for the Government of Canada to help drive jobs and growth. So why are the Conservatives slashing new funding for the biggest federal infrastructure fund by 90%?
The old Building Canada Fund had grown to about $1.6 billion a year for community infrastructure projects across the country. But this year new money for the fund drops off a cliff, falling by close to 90% to just $210 million a year, starving municipalities of federal support.
Funding will not recover for five years, punted into political never-never land.
Conservatives argue the total ten-year fund has never been bigger. But the reality is that those funds are heavily back-end loaded, postponing investments that should be made today for years.
There couldn’t be a worse time. Canada’s economic growth and job creation continue to be well below our potential, and unemployment is stubbornly stuck around 7%. An infrastructure program would not only help create growth today, it would lay the foundation for greater future prosperity.
Properly done, the dividends would be on-going for a very long time. For example, federal investments have helped make a number of improvements to the GO Transit network, improving service for commuters.
The provinces all agree. Municipal governments agree. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce agrees. The only partner offside is the Conservative government in Ottawa.
Instead of cutting the Building Canada Fund to help conjure a surplus in time for the next election, the government should be accelerating infrastructure investments to make a transformative boost to our economy today—and tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,
David McGuinty, MP
Liberal Party of Canada Critic for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities