Parliament's Budget Office is unable to find evidence of roughly 20,000 projects subsidized by Canadian tax dollars which total billions of dollars, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna's department was unwilling to provide evidence that they existed, the Commons government operations committee says.
"It’s hard to be convinced," Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux said in a statement. "I have faith they do exist, but I don’t have proof that they exist."
Minister McKenna said in a March 10 statement: "Since the Investing In Canada plan was launched over 52,000 projects have been announced government-wide with contributions of approximately $57.5 billion. Almost all of these projects are either started or completed."
But Giroux says that in 20,000 cases, records of those projects having started are nowhere to be found. "We’ve asked the department and have been able to find information for 33,000 of these projects," Giroux said. "We have not been able to see a list that includes all these 52,000 or 53,000 projects, only 33,000 of these projects."
On January 29, The House of Commons gave the green light to a Conservative Party motion that would mandate a federal audit of billions in the federal budget for public works. One budget officer says that he has attempted for months to gain access to a full list, but that only a "partial list" was given.
"We are in active and ongoing negotiations with Infrastructure Canada and multiple departments and agencies to try to compile a list," said Jacques. "I would say it has taken potentially a little bit longer than we anticipated."
"How many billions are missing from the list?" asked Shadow Finance Minister Pierre Poilievre. "It’s about half of the program," said Jacques.