Liberals' Infrastructure Spending Falling Short Of Promises, PBO Says

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OTTAWA — The federal budget watchdog says the Trudeau government may fall short of spending all the money it planned to devote to infrastructure in the first year of its mandate.

A new analysis by the parliamentary budget office says Ottawa's planned infrastructure investments did not materialize in the first half of the year and there's a growing risk the spending will have to be pushed into 2017-18.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Toronto Star's editorial board during a meeting on Dec. 5, 2016. (Photo: Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

But the budget office says this type of delay is nothing new — and it would be consistent with the slower-than-expected government plans to spend on infrastructure in the past.

The report says last year's federal budget contained plans for Ottawa to transfer $3.5 billion in new money in 2016-17 to other levels of government for infrastructure.

Read more: Liberals' Stimulus Spending So Small It's A Drag On The Economy, BMO Says

The Liberals won the 2015 election on a platform that pledged to spend tens of billions over the next decade on infrastructure as a way to lift the country's slow-growth economy.

The budget office says the federal transfers made by the Transport and Infrastructure departments over the first half of 2016-17 dropped by $100 million compared with the year before.

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