Criticism that the federal government’s economic-stimulus plan has failed to deliver jobs is wrong, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday as he ended months of indecision by announcing a seven-month extension to the multibillion-dollar program.
Harper called the job-creation results of the program “extremely clear” and said a critical report this week by Kevin Page, parliamentary budget officer, “lacks credibility.”
“This has been — everybody knows — an extremely successful program,” Harper said. “There’s been strong job creation.”
Harper’s remarks came after he announced the program’s deadline had been pushed back from its original date of March 31 by a full construction season to Oct. 31, 2011.
The prime minister insisted more than 90 per cent of projects would be completed by the end of next March but the extension was warranted for the “small” number of projects hit by bad weather or “Murphy’s Law.”