Did the stimulus fund help? - Macleans.ca

Did the stimulus fund help?

Most wasn’t spent during the slump


One of biggest claims made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is that their swift, massive response to the 2009 recession helped shorten and soften its impact. Yet new figures reported here show that the lion’s share of the stimulus fund set up in the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s deficit-heavy 2009 budget wasn’t spent in the 2009-10 fiscal year. That means the recession was long over before the money was out the door. Flaherty allocated $2 billion for the key Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, but less than $500 million was spent in 2009-10. Of $200 million allotted to the so-called Green Infrastructure Fund, Ottawa spent just $5.7 million in that first year. But the Tories point out that any money not spent in 2009-10 was pushed ahead to be available in the current fical year. That cash, however, must be spent by next March 31.

Ottawa Citizen

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