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Spring's steady stream of Tory spending announcements

If you see Premier Rodney MacDonald walking down the street, try askinghim for some cash. At this rate, you might just luck out.

If you see Premier Rodney MacDonald walking down the street, try asking him for some cash. At this rate, you might just luck out.

Over the last month the Progressive Conservatives announced $487 million in spending, an average of $15.7 million per day.

More than half of that — $256 million — was a single announcement of funds already committed to universities being spent ahead of schedule.

The other $231 million comes from a spree of announcements around the Tories’ infrastructure plan.

The plan, titled Building for Growth, was announced March 11. The government said it would spend $1.9 billion, but didn’t specify where any money would go.

But in the following days and weeks a stream of announcements started to pour in. From March 12 to April 11 there were 18 spending announcements, almost one for every weekday.

Wade Keller, director of communications for the premier, said the high rate of spending is due to the unusual economic times.

“You have those normal announcements … just the course of doing business,” Keller said.

“Then you have this year where there’s an increase in the number of announcements because of the Building for Growth plan.”

“You need to get these projects out of the door and get the tenders issued so that people can start working.”

The Building for Growth plan involves spending $800 million of new money and $1.1 billion of “usual capital spending.” It would add $1.4 billion to the provincial debt and create or maintain 20,000 jobs, says the government.

The next peek into where the money will go is planned for Tuesday, with two new announcements.

 
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