Over the past five years, the PSAC has expressed concern about the wasteful and inefficient Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). Now, a private member’s bill seeks to overhaul the program and fix many of its biggest flaws.
the original concept for the IPC was to provide low-cost public borrowing so that other orders of government could meet critical infrastructure needs like affordable housing and electric vehicle charging stations.
Instead, that 2015 Liberal election promise became a vehicle for privatization and public-private (P3) partnerships, which we know result in higher costs and lower quality services, with the government still assuming all the risk should the private contractor fail.
Billions of dollars have been poured into the CIB by the federal government with little to show for it. Only 13 projects have been announced, with only one underway – a P3 public transit system in Montreal that has has just been reintegrated into the public sector after the failure of the partnership. CIB management changed Many times, and announcements were made on new directions or new programs, but no real success has been observed.
That is why Bill C-245, a private member’s bill to change the Canada infrastructure bank, is so important. It promises to remove the privatization aspect while continuing to provide low-cost funding to other levels of government, including Indigenous communities.
- Write to your MP and ask them to vote for C-245
A publicly funded infrastructure bank could will benefit all levels of government in Canada if properly structured and funded. Municipalities, provinces and territories as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities could access financing without being at the mercy of corporations or high interest loans.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities recently released a report on its study of the IPC, with one recommendation – that the IPC be abolished. Although this may seem beneficial at first glance, it does not help to get infrastructure projects off the ground.
But adopting C-245 would ensure that currently approved projects are funded by the federal government and continue to develop, which would be a way to ensure that communities continue to receive the support they need.
While efforts to change the IPC have so far failed, the government can still correct its historical error. Act now to ensure that this important bill receives the support it deserves.