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“The Manner in whcih (the federal and provincial government) presented this to you, set you up for failure.” he said. “The speed, the haste, for which the applications had to be made were such that proper cost estimates were not made.”

– Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre Project Manager Jeff Christy addressing City of Brantford Officials.  (Source: Brant News)

Brantford, ONA recent report by Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has concluded that the federal government’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund has failed in its primary objective; the creation of jobs.    

“This independent report clearly shows this government’s failure in creating the jobs so desperately needed to improve our economy,” said Marc Laferriere, Federal NDP Candidate for Brant.

The multi-billion dollar program was part of the Conservative Government’s plan for stimulating the Canadian economy. The basis for the report, a survey commissioned by the PBO, was conducted during the 2010 construction season. The report shows just a 33.3 per cent positive impact on employment in communities receiving stimulus monies as part of the Fund. Additionally, nearly 41 per cent said there was either no net impact, or a decreased impact, on the earned income in the community.   

“The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund was supposed to create long-term employment solutions for hard-working Canadians,” said Laferriere. “The Conservative caucus has failed to create a real job strategy to lead Canada through the recession.  In Brant and other ridings this could have been avoided with a little practical leadership.”

This past February, Laferriere called for the immediate removal of arbitrary funding deadlines.  This has happened, but only recently and after costing the City of Brantford at least one million dollars of taxpayer’s money.  He also made strong suggestions to target the funding into job rich projects that were in line with municipal goals including the statement that “forcing an unnatural deadline on municipalities will only serve to create fewer jobs, poorer planning, have a worse effect on the environment and disadvantage communities like ours.”

Laferriere, referring to his original plan today stated, “Municipalities were open about these issues from the beginning.  Our suggestion was to work with them and not make them jump through needless & costly bureaucratic hoops.  Instead we lost the chance to create 1.1 million hours of local work, put our city’s infrastructure ahead 15 years, and cost the taxpayer less.  This would have created better conditions for the local economic growth.”

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