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ALBAS: Holding the federal government to account

Dan Albas, member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla.
Image Credit: Contributed
July 20, 2019 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


The official opposition has the responsibility to hold the Government to account.

Part of this responsibility means looking at how the government spends your money on programs, projects and services to determine if there is value and results being delivered for taxpayers.

The opposition is also assisted in the work that we do through journalists, who not only hold the Government to account but also the opposition - in fact, all elected officials and all the citizens we represent.

One journalism organization that many Canadians outside of Ottawa may not have heard of is 'Blacklock’s Reporter', a unique investigative news organization that stands alone in being the only reporter-owned and operated newsroom in Ottawa.

Recently through a series of access to information requests, Blacklock’s reviewed the Trudeau Liberal Government’s billion-dollar Strategic Innovation Fund.

This fund falls under the responsibility of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

For the record, I am the shadow cabinet critic for this Ministry.

The results of this access to information data, as reported by Blacklock’s, is alarming.

Publicly the Trudeau Liberal Government boasted that this program had loaned out a billion dollars and helped “to create nearly 56,000 jobs”.

Is this claim accurate?

In a word, no.

The access to information data reveals that in reality, as of March 31st of this year, only 6,613 jobs have been created.

To put that figure into perspective a total of $1,051,716,827 in funding has been approved by the Trudeau Liberal Government, meaning each job has cost the equivalent of more than $159,000 per.

Records further revealed that of the $1.05 billion loaned out to date, only about half, a total of $566.4 million, is due to be repaid with just over 50 per cent due to be repaid by 2041.

It has not been explained why there is a deficiency of over 49,000 fewer jobs then what has been publicly claimed.

My question this week: Do you feel that the Liberals billion-dollar Strategic Innovation Fund is meeting your expectations?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

— Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.


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