April 16th, 2024

Infrastructure program falls short on tracking results, but on right path: auditor

By The Canadian Press on March 19, 2024.

Auditor general Karen Hogan addresses a news conference, Monday, February 12, 2024 in Ottawa. Hogan says the government’s $4.6-billion program to bolster infrastructure across the country suffers from poor results tracking, but that the fund is well designed overall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Auditor general Karen Hogan says the government’s $4.6-billion program to bolster transportation infrastructure across the country suffers from poor results tracking, but the fund is well-crafted overall.

Hogan says in a new report that the Transport Department took an evidence-based approach to pinpoint supply-chain bottlenecks and call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund.

For example, backed-up terminals and overloaded warehouses during the past few years led officials to solicit submissions for port upgrades and expansions.

However, Hogan says half of the 181 funded projects failed to include a fleshed-out strategy to assess results, leaving their impact unclear.

The auditor general says Transport Canada needs sturdier monitoring and reporting systems, especially given how long infrastructure programs can take to produce results.

The government launched the National Trade Corridors Fund in 2017 in an effort to strengthen Canada’s network of roads, rails, airports and seaports by 2028.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

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