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Harper's infrastructure numbers off: Ignatieff

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff questioned the prime minister's economic report card Monday, suggesting the Tories are more concerned about image than economic stimulus.

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff questioned the prime minister's economic report card Monday, suggesting the Tories are more concerned about image than economic stimulus.

Stephen Harper was not telling the whole story in declaring that 90 per cent of federal infrastructure money has been committed to projects across the country, said Ignatieff.

Only 12 per cent of projects are actually underway, he said, and mayors and premiers will back him up.

"Why is this information being given?" Ignatieff asked during question period in the House of Commons. "How can Canadians believe this report?"

Ignatieff said the Conservatives are not managing the economy prudently and accused them of using infrastructure money to reward Tory ridings.

Transport Minister John Baird rejected the claim, saying the Conservative government is focusing on job creation rather than an election the Liberals seem bent on forcing.

Ignatieff intends to put a motion of non-confidence in the minority government to a vote in the Commons on Thursday.

"Right across the country, infrastructure projects are being tendered, contracts are being issued, shovels are in the ground, engineers, architects are at work," Baird said.

"What Canadians expect is for all of us on this side of the House and that side of the House to work hard, to focus on the economy, to create jobs and not try to plunge Canada into an unnecessary and self-interested election."

Harper delivered his third economic update to the last budget Monday in Saint John, N.B.

The prime minister said money has been committed to 7,500 infrastructure and housing projects, and that more than 4,000 have begun in the first six months of the overall two-year plan.