Budget watchdog says AECL to cost taxpayers additional $236 million this year


OTTAWA – A new report from the parliamentary budget officer shows Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. continues to be a drain on the public purse.

The report says the government’s supplementary estimates ask for an additional $236 million for AECL, bringing the total for the 2013-14 fiscal year to $362 million.

The budget watchdog says although Ottawa’s support for the nuclear agency has decreased by 60 per cent over the last four years, AECL’s losses have also mounted from $300 million in 2009-10 to $3 billion in the first three quarters of 2012-13.

Ultimately, the report says, the government is on the hook for the Crown corporation’s liabilities.

The report says overall the supplementary estimates ask for $1.1 billion more in government spending, bringing budgetary authorities for the 2013-14 fiscal year to about $253.6 billion.

Other adjustments include increases to transfer payments and subsidies to Crown corporations, including money for the VIA Rail pension plan deficit.

The report notes that despite the increases, the spending plans for the current fiscal year are $5.4 billion less than last year, due to government austerity measures introduced in 2012.


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