The Canadian Infrastructure Bank has been hijacked by billionaire private investment firms

After decades of austerity measures and cutbacks on public infrastructure spending and more and more taxpayer money going into public private partnerships gone wrong, do we really need to continue to plow more money into unaccountable and costly public private partnerships and to private investors? 

In 2015 it was estimated that municipalities need CAD172 billion to bring the the condition of drinking water, waste water, storm water and road infrastructure up to a “good” standard was CAD172-billion.  This municipal estimate does not include the cost of providing drinkable water and services to First Nations communities.  We need infrastructure investment. 

The federal Liberals floated the idea of a Canadian Infrastructure Bank to help address these needs during the 2015 election.  As Bank is taking shape it is becoming more and more of a cash cow for private investors.  Here is a great report from CUPE about how the Canadian Infrastructure Bank project has changed to become more and more lucrative for private partners.  According to CUPE, it has been hijacked by groups like Blackrock and McKinsey to minimize the cost of loans for private partners and maximize their profits.   Rosemary Frie dug into these allegations and wrote this great analysis for rabble.ca.  As a larger question, even the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of Canada says that public private partnerships should not be overused, so why is the Canadian government making public private partnerships such a cornerstone of its plan for infrastructure development.  

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank was supposed to be about saving the taxpayers in Canada money.  However, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has published a report which shows that as proposed the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) could double the cost of infrastructure projects.  Read the report and then demand accountability.   Right now the CIB financing structure adds $150 billion or more in additional financing costs on the $140 billion of anticipated investments.  That makes no sense!  Demand accountability now before it is too late because Canada has huge infrastructure needs and we need to meet them.   

Here is CUPE's proposal for responsible infrastructure development and the CCPA report by Toby Sanger proposes ways in which the Canadian Infrastructure Bank could meet its orginal purpose. 

Please write to your member of Parliament and tell them that you want public infrastructure developed in the public interest.   This project has been hijacked and we need to get it back on track or scrap it entirely. 

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