Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where is the other half of our infrastructure money?

A good news announcement, Gordon Campbell has finally accessed SOME of BCs allotted infrastructure money, but my question to the Campbell government is this, where is the other half?

719 million in infrastructure projects to be done in BC, in reading the some of the sketchy details on the deal I have many questions, mainly where is the rest of it, according to the Vancouver Sun article the federal government is kicking in 244 million dollars......The province of BC is kicking in 233 million dollars and municipalities are kicking in 242 million dollars. BC was allotted roughly 500 million in infrastructure money from the federal government, which means to access this money the province would have to kick in 500 million dollars and towns and cities would have to kick in 500 million dollars.

So where is the other 250 million from the federal government and the other 250 million dollars from the provincial government?

As you know to get this money these infrastructure projects must be completed by march/2011.......just over 18 months from now.

Now from what I gather from other stories about the delays in getting this money is that Gordon Campbell didn`t want to have this money added to the provincial debt, Campbell wanted the provincial contribution of this money put on the capital debt side of the ledger rather than the operating debt side of the ledger, in other words Campbell wanted to put the debt onto his over bloated credit card,our BC credit card but the federal government said NO, the feds said to access this money it had to be put on the operating debt for each province, so two things have happened today, the provincial debt will have risen today by 233 million dollars bringing the BC debt for the current fiscal year to 3.8 billion dollars, less 750 million that was deducted from the debt by applying the federal bribe to bring in the HST tax.

But what about the other 250 million of federal money? Unless Gordon Campbell agrees to match that money BC will lose it, and that means adding another 250 million dollars to BCs deficit, Campbell could perhaps wait until the next fiscal year to add 250 million to the deficit but that creates a problem, if Campbell does that then municipalities would have less than a year to start and complete these projects, because as you know these projects must be completed by march of 2011.

So what is the deal? Is Gordon Campbell going to let these dollars get away from BC in order to try and keep the deficit down? Is Gordon Campbell still trying to create a made in BC special deal? Or is it that BC lost a large share of our federal infrastructure money in lieu of having the federal government pick-up a large percentage of the 2010 olympic security bill? (you can read the Vancouver sun article here)

I would like answers to these questions, also in reading the list of projects that have been approved I noticed there is lots of highway work, not new highways but what appears to be lots of maintenance work,like repaving of roads and money spent on BC ferry infrastructure.(read about the projects here)

Now I`m glad these projects are going to be done but don`t you think that re-paving of roads and BC ferry projects are the responsibility of the ministry of transportation and the responsibility of the quasi private corporation of BC Ferries?

Anyways, I will wait patiently for the opposition(NDP)to ask these questions,especially about where is the other half of the infrastructure money.

The Straight Goods

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open

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