Ottawa: Government Still Spending on Millennium : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Government still spending on millennium

OTTAWA (CP) -- The turn of the millennium has come and gone, but the celebrations -- not to mention the spending -- linger on.

The Millennium Bureau of Canada, created to sponsor Y2K community projects across the country, will spend $26.3 million in fiscal 2001-2002.

The figure, included in federal spending estimates tabled Tuesday, is down from the $93.4 million the bureau disbursed the previous year.

But John Williams, the Canadian Alliance spending critic, wondered why the Liberal government is continuing to fork out anything at all.

"The millennium is long gone," Williams told the Commons. "Is there a competition (on government benches) on who can waste the money the most?"

Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray said the new money is to complete projects launched during the millennium year but delayed for a variety of reasons, including the need to complete environmental impact evaluations.

The estimates indicate Ottawa will spend a total of $162.5 billion in the fiscal year that begins April 1, up about $9 billion from the previous year.

The new figure is roughly in line with budget projections made public last fall.

Finance Minister Paul Martin's October mini-budget, just before the federal election was called, indicated total spending for 2001-2002 would be $166.3 billion.

Some discrepancy in figures is normal, reflecting adjustments that will be made later this year as supplementary estimates are presented to Parliament.

The main estimates, tabled by Treasury Board President Lucienne Robillard, must be sent to the Commons each year by March 1.

They give a broad overview of government spending plans. More detailed figures for each department will be made public in about a month.

-- Rachel Gibson (, February 28, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ