“Spending 20 Times More On Salaries, Bonuses Than On Actual Infrastructure”: Conservative MP Criticizes Canada Infrastructure Bank

In a recent post on X, Haldimand-Norfolk MP Dr. Leslyn Lewis raised concerns about the spending habits of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). According to Lewis, the CIB, with a budget of $35 billion, has been allocating a substantial portion of its funds towards salaries and bonuses rather than infrastructure projects.

Lewis highlighted that in the past year alone, the CIB reportedly spent 20 times more on salaries and bonuses than on actual infrastructure development. Moreover, the bank allegedly distributed over $8 million in bonuses to its executives. This trend, Lewis noted, has persisted since the inception of the CIB in 2018, with annual reports consistently indicating higher expenditures on staff compensation compared to infrastructure investments.

During a plenary session, Lewis directed her inquiries to Ehren Cory, CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. She pointed out the discrepancy between the bank’s spending on salaries and bonuses versus its investments in infrastructure projects, citing figures from recent annual reports.

Lewis identified that “for almost every year in its existence, the bank has spent more on salaries and overhead than on actual infrastructure projects.” She noted that it spent $30.2 million for salaries and bonuses in 2022-2023, $24.0 million in 2021-2022, and $17.7 million in 2021.

“Why should Canadians who are struggling with daily expenses, not be concerned about these hefty bonuses and salaries that your non-profitable bank is dishing out?” she asked.

Cory defended the bank’s expenditure practices, emphasizing transparency and accountability in their financial reporting.

“The CIB really does focus on transparency. You see finery in your reports–all of our expenses, explanation of our bonuses, explanation of our performance, targets and when we meet them and we don’t,” he explained.

He also acknowledged the substantial investment in staff recruitment and training to facilitate the execution of infrastructure projects. Cory further asserted that the bank’s performance-based bonuses are tied to achieving specific goals and targets.

“To be clear, last year, the year that just finished March 31st, the CIB made $3.7 billion in new investments. the year before that, we made $4.3 billion in investments. The staff cost to do that, since the CIB launched in 2018, we’ve been ramping up staff,” Cory responded.

However, Lewis challenged Cory’s assertion that the bank’s investments were profitable, questioning whether the funds were actually generating revenue.

“You’re talking about spending Canadian taxpayers money as if it’s profitable for you. You say you made this on investments. It means that you’re spending out that money. That’s not the revenues that you are generating. Isn’t that correct?” Lewis prodded.

Cory clarified that the CIB primarily makes loans, which are expected to be repaid over several years with interest.

“So the $3.7 billion last year–that is correct. Those are loans that we’ve made in the past twelve months. The money will be loaned out and repaid over 10, 15, 20, and sometimes 30 years with interest. Over time, the CIB will evolve to being more and more self-sustaining as an organization,” he elucidated.

He further emphasized the bank’s commitment to utilizing taxpayer dollars responsibly to deliver public benefits, including greenhouse gas reduction, economic growth, Indigenous participation, and improved connectivity for Canadians.

Information for this briefing was found via X and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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