Did the Liberals jump the gun on criticizing Tory infrastructure spending?

11Jun09

Today, the Liberals launched a “non-construction gallery” (h/t @ottawacarl) that apparently attacks the federal Tory government for not getting shovels in the ground quickly enough on several projects announced in the last few years.

Most of the announcements have to do with road, rail and bridge upgrades. The Liberals have taken snapshots of the lands near the proposed projects and declared them victims of Tory incompetence. But there is a problem.

At least one of the projects can’t be blamed on the Tories. Indeed, Ottawa’s Strandherd-Armstrong bridge is still being designed by the City of Ottawa (in association with Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission). It isn’t scheduled for construction until at least next year and, if it remains on schedule, won’t even be completed until 2012.

I’m not an expert on the other projects in the Liberal slideshow, but I wonder how many of them are similar to the Strandherd bridge.

Oh, and in sort of a funny twist, it was two years ago that the Tories were accusing the Liberals of holding up the project.

In an interview with The Hill Times on the Hill last week, Mr. Poilievre accused Mr. McGuinty and his brother, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, of holding up the project.

“David McGuinty should talk to his brother, Dalton, who has been blocking the Strandherd Bridge by refusing to make his one-third contribution,” Mr. Poilievre said. “He is doing serious damage to all Ottawa residents living in the south end by opposing the Strandherd Bridge, and he and his brother should get their heads out of Toronto and wake up to the fact that south end residents need a bridge.”

Mr. Poilievre said that the announcement was made with the approval of both the Prime Minister and Mr. Cannon. “The $35-million is now set aside for the Strandherd Bridge and it’s going to that bridge whether David McGuinty likes it or not,” he said.

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