Where Ottawa’s Stimulus Spending Is Going

In my articles about the TTC budgets, I have been remiss in not reporting on the effect of the Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Program.  The TTC had a presentation on this topic at its meeting in September as part of the Capital Budget report, but I never wrote up the information.  (The presentation is not available online.)

I have summarized the financial information for easier access.

Stimulus Funding Summary 2009 to 2011

This summary contains two sections corresponding to two parts of the presentation.  One is for Operations and one for Construction.  There was more financial breakdown in the Operations section, and I am not going to try to explain why.

The TTC (and City) budget years correspond to the calendar years, while the Federal Government fiscal year starts on April 1.  That’s why all of the stimulus work to be billed to Ottawa must be completed by March 31, 2011 — nothing can spill over into the 2011-12 budget year.  (As an aside, I might note that both Queen’s Park and Ottawa happily include this non-recurring spending when they talk about the deficit as if it will go on forever.  This makes the deficits look bigger than they really are in the long term, and magically they will fall for the 2011 budget year when the stimulus ends.)

For the Operations projects, the budget is broken down into each TTC fiscal year showing the original and revised spending level for each project line (these correspond to lines in the full TTC Budget).  Of particular note is the fact that the change, if any, varies in each year and in some cases the change in 2011 is quite large.  This indicates work that was brought forward into 2011 from future years, but which won’t be completed by March 31 and is therefore only partly eligible for stimulus funds.

The three-year total for Operations is $68.1-million, up by $25.1m over the original plans.  Of this, Ottawa will contribute $10.8m or about 43% of the increase.

For the Construction projects, only the three-year numbers are given, and in each case Ottawa is assumed to pay 1/3.  Note that the Warden Station project, included in the list, was subsequently cut as part of the City’s budget review and, therefore, Ottawa’s $4m share has been foregone.

Looking at the Grand Total, Ottawa will contribute $61.1-million, about 28%, to projects with a total value of $219.0m.  The remainder will come from the City and Queen’s Park.

This is only part of the total stimulus package coming to Toronto as most projects are in the City’s own budget, not the TTC’s.