Funding without borders?

The interim auditor general is asked about the Prime Minister’s comment yesterday that the Border Infrastructure Fund is “frequently used for projects that are not in border communities.”

“If monies earmarked for border infrastructure are being used for other purposes in addition to the G8 legacy fund I would have the same concern that I had with respect to using that fund for the G8 as well. If that’s happening, I don’t think it should be,” he told CBC News.

To explain Mr. Harper’s remark, the Prime Minister’s Office points to the funding, in 2003, of road improvements in Vancouver. Those improvements were linked to easing congestion around two border crossings. And that project is just one of 12 noted on the fund’s webpage. Here is a handy map of where those projects are located.

And here are the “funding and investment criteria” set out by Infrastructure Canada for the Border Infrastructure Fund.

The Government of Canada makes a maximum contribution of 50 percent towards the total eligible costs of projects that were selected, based on the following investment criteria:

  • Reduces congestion;
  • Enhances capacity;
  • Co-ordination with adjacent U.S. border facility and road access network;
  • Supports implementation of the Smart Borders Action Plan;
  • Enhances safety and security at border crossings; and
  • Financial participation of other public and private sector partners.

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