PBO releases latest tally of federal infrastructure project spending

June 17, 2020, OTTAWA – The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) today released his latest report on the impact of the federal government’s $188 billion infrastructure package.

The new analysis in the Update on the Investing in Canada Plan report is based on a detailed list of over 33,000 projects funded by the Investing in Canada Plan between 2016-17 and 2019-20. 

Earlier this month, subsequent to the PBO’s analysis, the Government provided details on 12,000 projects delivered under the Gas Tax Fund.  The Government has indicated that there remains roughly an additional 8,500 projects for which details were not provided to the PBO.

Consistent with previous findings, there is limited evidence that increased federal money has resulted in increased provincial infrastructure spending,” said Yves Giroux, PBO.  “While federal infrastructure transfers increased by $1 billion in 2018-19, overall provincial infrastructure spending decreased by $800 million.”

The PBO estimates that the government’s infrastructure plan has raised the level of GDP by 0.74 per cent and added approximately 65,900 jobs as of 2019-20.  The lower-than-expected spending compared to the plans set out in Budget 2019 resulted in contributions to real GDP that were 0.03 per cent and 0.04 per cent lower in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively. Similarly, full-time equivalent employment was 2,200 lower in 2018-19 and 4,400 lower in 2019-20 than planned.