A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

One to watch (updated)

On the “open and accountable” file this report will be interesting reading, I suspect Mr Page and his team are still having problems getting the real figures out of the Harper Regime.

Hundreds of millions of federal infrastructure dollars might not get out the door before the Harper government's program deadline on its economic stimulus plan for the projects next spring, says a new analysis by Parliament's budget watchdog.
Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer, said the assessment, to be released on Monday, is based on recent figures from Infrastructure Canada regarding the multibillion-dollar government programs in its stimulus package for the economy.

One wonders what kind of accounting practices the government uses to track such moneys COMMITED to these projects that is not spent (leaving the municipalities to pick up the shortfall), and where it will be spent. Another budget increase for the Spin and Cover up Department (PMO) perhaps?

UPDATE:- The PBO report can be now downloaded at :-

Several observers have noted that the BPO has determined that there is a strong risk of 23% of approved projects not being completed by the March 2011 deadline with a resulting shortfall (if as the government has said they will not honor their funding commitment beyond this date) of abt $290 million. This could go as high as 46% and $500 million. The shocking thing about this report is not so much the above as anyone with any knowledge of large construction projects will tell you, unforeseen problems do occur to delay completion dates. The hard part to swallow is that the government does not seem to really know where and how all the funds are being spent, (or if they do they are not telling Mr Page) as shown in this bit from the PBO.

The claims datasets the PBO has received from Infrastructure Canada include data inconsistencies that affect the relevance and accuracy of PBO performance analysis. Coupled with the fact that a significant number of projects have not yet submitted progress reports, it is impossible to draw authoritative conclusions about the program performance at this time. Parliamentary monitoring of program performance would be better served by a more consistent reporting regime, with appropriate incentives to ensure timely and accurate progress reporting.”

All PBO analysis is sourced from the datasets received from Infrastructure Canada, and the PBO continues to find inconsistencies in the datasets. The Percent Complete figure, for example, is based on the judgement of the reporting proponent and has no clear definition, standard or process to calculate its value. These data inconsistencies impact negatively on the results and accuracy of PBO analysis and does not allow for an authoritative assessment of program performance. “

With the above in mind if we look at the number of projects completed as of March 2010 we see that with 26% of projects “not reported” only abt $650 million of the $4 billion has been “claimed” as of march 2010. We can but hope that this summers construction season will see things move forward more swiftly but where unforeseen circumstances delay completion of these projects the government MUST NOT withdraw committed funding and download the additional costs to municipalities who are already overwhelmed with additional social assistance costs from those whose employment insurance has long since run out. The “recession” is NOT over for many of our citizens, but that “data” will no doubt also be ignored or forgotten by the PMO spin doctors.

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