Canadian government calls immediate halt to capital spending
Health care has trumped engineering infrastructure in the new Prime Minister's immediate agenda.
Health care has trumped engineering infrastructure in the new Prime Minister’s immediate agenda.
The new government ordered an immediate freeze on major capital projects as at December 16.
Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and Treasury Board President Reg Alcock made the announcement from Ottawa, saying the freeze was to ensure the government could provide $2 billion in health transfer funds to the provinces.
It is not clear whether the freeze will affect projects already under way that are being partly funded by federal programs, such as the Manitoba Floodway Expansion and the Halifax Harbour Clean-up.
In addition, the government has set up an Expenditure Review Committee – to be chaired by Minister Alcock – that will conduct a full-scale review of all government spending, to report in autumn 2004 for implementation in the 2005 budget. Spending will be subject to tests such as:
Is there a legitimate and necessary role for goverment i this area; Value for money – Are Canadians getting value for their tax dollars, and an Efficiency Test.
For more details, see www.tbs-sct.gc.ca