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Government to reject NDP motion, but consider new infrastructure plan

Minister of Transportation Denis Lebel, seen March 12, 2012, in the House of Commons.


The Conservative government will vote against an NDP motion calling for a long-term federal infrastructure plan this week, even as it acknowledges such a plan is "under consideration."

NDP MP Olivia Chow is putting forward a motion for debate Tuesday calling for the 2013 budget to include "a long-term, predictable and accountable federal infrastructure plan," as recommended by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The motion will be debated Tuesday in the House of Commons and put to a vote on Wednesday.

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A spokesperson for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities minister Denis Lebel said the government will vote against the motion.

"We cannot support the resolution," wrote Mike Winterburn in an email. "For seven years, the NDP voted against every federal infrastructure initiative, while our government has delivered unprecedented investments to improve infrastructure, reduce gridlock and create jobs."

The answer from the minister's office confirmed that the government is considering a new infrastructure plan that would be in addition to the $3-billion a year Ottawa currently contributes to municipalities through the Gas Tax Fund transfer and the GST rebate.

"We face a continuing deficit and we continue to work hard to balance the budget," he wrote. "An infrastructure plan is under consideration. It will be considered under the current fiscal situation."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More


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