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Results: 1 - 15 of 102
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Welcome, Minister. I don't know what the weather is like in Ottawa, but I hope you're doing well.
I'm glad you referenced the Canada Infrastructure Bank because I had a few questions on that. You used the term “hitting its stride”. Many people would call the Canada Infrastructure Bank “stumbling out of the gates”. It has been around for almost four years now. It has been allocated $35 billion.
Can you tell us what the operating costs are for the Canada Infrastructure Bank on a yearly basis?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much, Minister. This is our first time participating in a parliamentary format like this, so I appreciate your acknowledging that.
You talked about the need for more infrastructure. I'm puzzled why you're using the Canada Infrastructure Bank as an example of getting more infrastructure.
Perhaps you could tell this committee something that the Prime Minister did not want to say, which is to answer a very simple question. How many projects has the Infrastructure Bank completed in its almost four years of existence and $35 billion allocation of taxpayers' money?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
You've referenced two projects, one that which you've signed a memorandum of understanding for.
The question was, however, that you've had almost four years with this institution. This bank announced with great fanfare. It was going to be your government's signature vehicle to do infrastructure differently. It was supposed to lead to dozens and dozens of private sector funds investing in these types of projects.
Here we are, almost four years out, with $35 billion and millions of dollars' worth of operating costs. You must have completed something. Can you just tell this committee how many projects have been finished? Not memorandums of understanding or work under way, but how many projects have been completed?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
With all due respect, Minister, you referenced the Infrastructure Bank. I'm just trying to get an understanding, after it has been being allocated $35 billion. I'm assuming the answer is zero. I don't know why, if the answer is zero, you can't just say “zero”.
As you know, our P3 model and infrastructure programs during our previous Conservative government got the job done. We built massive projects all across the country, and it was our commitment in the campaign to actually get things done.
We've heard from stakeholders across the country who are saying dollars aren't flowing. We've heard from ministers in provincial governments who are saying there are projects submitted that are waiting for federal approval. We could be getting more projects built, but there's a massive problem within the department of actually getting those projects out the door.
I want to go back to the announcement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank. Mr. Sabia said, during that press conference, that “hope isn't a plan” and that the plan that you, Mr. Sabia, and the Prime Minister announced was the result of “a serious analysis of current and potential projects. In short, this plan is real.” Minister, have you seen the plan?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the officials. I appreciate your time today.
I just want to point out a couple of things from the minister's comments.
I believe I heard her say that one of the reasons the Yonge extension couldn't be approved right now is that they don't know where the line is going to go. I just wanted to let you know that I found the line. It took about two seconds with a Google search for me to find the proposed route, and I'm happy to send that to the minister. Maybe that will speed up the approval process.
I want to clarify another one of the minister's responses to my colleague, Mr. Kram.
Premier Moe did send a letter just before the throne speech, in which he indicated that since March 1, only three projects had been approved. The official gave a different number. I'm just wondering if you could bring some clarity to that. Were there a whole bunch of new approvals done in the last few weeks?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Right. And as you know, those agreements go back some time. I think the premier's point was that—
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
I believe the premier's point was that since March 1 there were 123 proposed and only three received approval. When we talk about a construction season in Saskatchewan that doesn't go too deep into the winter, I think that's the issue that was being highlighted.
I wanted to ask you a question. There have been numerous reports about trying to quantify the percentage of infrastructure dollars that go to what are traditionally considered actual infrastructure, such as types of roads, bridges, ports and water systems. Many analyses have shown that what is considered “social” infrastructure—spending on things that have traditionally not been included in the infrastructure envelope—may be worthwhile initiatives and may be filling needs, but usually have been captured in other areas. There's a sense that this government is trying to call a lot of things infrastructure and give it that label to give the sense that this type of spending does have a return on investment in terms of economic growth.
Does the department have any type of criteria that determines the different types of infrastructure spending it approves and that breaks down social versus what we might consider more traditional infrastructure projects?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
When the minister and the Prime Minister make claims about the effects on GDP, does the department do an analysis to determine whether or not there's the same type of benefit with social infrastructure spending as with more traditional infrastructure?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Ms. Gillis.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, the Prime Minister so badly wanted to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council, he made it a campaign promise in 2015, spent the last five years selling out Canadian principles, cozying up to dictators and despots, and even sent Canadian soldiers into harm's way to curry favour at the UN.
Last night must have been a devastating blow to the Prime Minister. Was it worth it?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Except, Mr. Chair, that's not what he did. He remained silent when standing beside leaders of countries with terrible human rights records because he was afraid of offending them and losing their votes. That is his legacy in chasing this vanity project.
The Prime Minister shook the hand of the Iranian foreign minister and even vowed just a month after that country's military shot down a plane with dozens of Canadians on it. Again, was it worth it?
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