Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government will extend by seven months until Oct. 31 a deadline for stimulus funding for infrastructure projects.
“This will allow sufficient time for the completion of the remaining projects,” Harper said today in Mississauga, Ontario, near Toronto.
Opposition groups, including the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois, have called on the government to extend the deadline for public-works spending.
Economic growth decreased to the slowest pace in a year during the third quarter to an annualized rate of 1 percent. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who said in October Canadian deficits will total C$165.2 billion ($164.5 billion) over the 2009-2014 period, had said repeatedly he would be reasonable in enforcing the original deadline.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer said in a report this week that 24 percent of projects funded under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund won’t be completed by March 31, meaning that C$303 million of federal funding wouldn’t take place.
Flaherty said last month next year’s budget won’t contain new spending measures. He implemented a C$47 billion stimulus package in his 2009 budget.