Financial safeguards to be part of new infrastructure bank, Sohi says

MPs seek clarity on infrastructure bank

OTTAWA — Canada’s infrastructure minister is promising that taxpayers won’t be left holding the bag should any projects funded through a proposed infrastructure bank go bankrupt.

Amarjeet Sohi tells a committee appearance today that the bank, once it is created, will conduct extensive analyses on proposals before approving them for funding.

Sohi can’t say, however, who would make the final decision about what projects would be funded through the bank — most of those details won’t be worked out until after this year’s federal budget.

Among the details still under review are the size and location of the bank’s offices, a point Sohi made when a fellow Liberal MP pushed for it to be in Montreal.

The new, experimental infrastructure bank will take $35 billion in public funding to attract private investors to fund infrastructure projects that may not be built for years.

The Liberals have promised that cities and provinces won’t be forced to use the bank, but officials say it will primarily fund projects that can generate a return for private-sector investors.

The Canadian Press