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Federal budget shows billions in infrastructure won’t be spent until at least 2021

ABOVE: Personal finances expert Preet Banerjee tells Global News what items stood out the most for him in the 2018 federal budget when it comes to everyday Canadians, including five weeks of parental leave.

New figures in this week’s federal budget suggest billions of dollars from the Liberal government’s vaunted infrastructure program now won’t be spent until after Canadians go to the polls next year.

The sluggish pace of federal infrastructure spending has been a persistent burr under the saddle of a government that rode to power on a promise to ramp up spending for roads, bridges, community centres, transit and water systems to stimulate the economy.

READ MORE: Some (lesser-known) highlights from the 2018 federal budget 

Tuesday’s budget showed more than $3.8 billion from Phase 1 of the plan – which was supposed to be spent by the end of the month – won’t be totally out the door until at least 2021.

The second phase of spending, which is still subject to negotiations with the provinces and territories, has also seen its funding moved around: the government now says more than $3 billion won’t be spent until at least 2025, with the majority of that spending to take place in 2028.

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And that might not be the end of it since the budget also warns that further adjustments may have to be made over time.

A spokesman for Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the new numbers reflect when the government expects to receive expense claims from cities and provinces, a process that often creates a lag between when work takes place and when the federal money is spent.

(The Canadian Press)

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