There is about $13-billion remaining to be spent by the federal government on infrastructure projects that qualify as part of the “New Building Canada Fund”, which was originally launched by the Conservatives. As highlighted in the April 25, 2016 Globe and Mail article entitled, “Liberals adding tourism, recreational works to infrastructure program”, projects such as hockey rinks and community centre repairs are now able to qualify. While this type of infrastructure spending is popular for communities, their long-term economic benefit is questionable – especially when compared to investments made in health care or education infrastructure.
According to Jamison Steeve, executive director of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, spending on health care, education and trade are the types of infrastructure that produce long-term gains in terms of high-paying jobs and increased productivity. Building a hockey rink, he said, only produces a short-term boost when looked at from a purely economic point of view.