Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna admitted on Thursday that the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a Crown Corporations established by the Liberal government in 2017, has not completed any projects since its inception, according to Blacklocks Reporter.
“We need more infrastructure built and we need to bring in the private sector to do that,” McKenna declared before the Parliamentary Transport Committee. “The Canada Infrastructure Bank is an arms-length Crown corporation and it absolutely does need to deliver on its mandate to invest in major, nation-building projects.”
The Infrastructure Bank was created in 2017 to provide loans to private companies investing in infrastructure. Despite an initial $35 billion investment, it was reported in October that the bank had likely not actually seen the construction of any infrastructure. McKenna on Thursday confirmed such reporting.
“How many projects has the Infrastructure Bank completed in its almost four years of existence and $35 billion in allocation of taxpayers’ money?” McKenna was asked by former Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer.
McKenna evaded the question, insisting to Scheer that the infrastructure bank "doesn't work like that."
“You talk about the need for more infrastructure,” Scheer said to McKenna. “That’s where I am kind of puzzled why you’re using the Canada Infrastructure Bank as an example of getting more infrastructure.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also questioned the bank's function, describing it as nothing more than a "great announcement tool." Singh pointed to the million dollar payout received by the bank's Chief Executive Officer. The previous CEO and the Chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank both resigned unexpectedly and abruptly back in April.
“What have they done for three years?” Singh asked rhetorically. “They certainly have enriched their close friends. They have great salaries.”
Canada's infrastructure spending is under audit by the Auditor General, and a report on the matter is due by March 31st, 2021.