Action plan no triumph without job numbers

AG report also outlines serious Treasury Board mismanagement of conflict rules

Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s report on Canada’s Economic Action Plan shows the Conservatives still can’t answer the most important question about its stimulus funding: how many jobs were created?

Fraser also highlighted two recurring New Democrat criticisms of the action plan: projects are starting late and running behind schedule; and the environmental assessment process was gutted without cause.

Fraser’s report says the government could not say how many jobs were created, and that job numbers in the report are based on “largely anecdotal” and unreliable evidence.

“It’s a testament to this government’s incompetence if we’re applauding them for merely getting funding out the door without completely bungling the process,” said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton. “I expect the government to provide more than anecdotes to show their action plan is putting Canadians back to work.”

On the government’s management of conflicts of interest, Fraser says departments “need to do a better job,” and have failed to properly manage conflicts of interest in the public service.

“This government has been dogged with conflict of interest allegations, so it comes as no surprise they’ve failed to live up to their promises to do things differently,” said Layton.

”Not only have they badly mismanaged accountability in the public service, they haven’t yet implemented their own Accountability Act rules,” concluded Layton. “Even today—despite repeated attacks on the Liberals’ poor record—they are happy to continue to use these sponsorship scandal-era conflict-of-interest rules.”

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