I think it's important to mention that I did not come up with the language in amendment NDP-19. It was taken from the Liberal Party of Canada's 2015 election platform. During the campaign, the Liberals did talk about an infrastructure bank, but one that looked a lot different than what we see here. During the campaign, they described the infrastructure bank a lot differently than the proposed measure establishing the bank does in the bill before us.
Section 6 of the new act, which sets out the bank's purpose underlying its activities, reads as follows:
The purpose of the Bank is to invest, and seek to attract investment from private sector investors and institutional investors, in infrastructure projects in Canada or partly in Canada that will generate revenue….
Now this is the new part. During the election campaign, the Liberals didn't talk about the requirement to generate revenue. I received confirmation that the revenue would come from tolls, user fees, and so on.
Section 6 of the proposed act goes on to state:
… and that will be in the public interest by, for example, supporting conditions that foster economic growth or by contributing to the sustainability of infrastructure in Canada.
My amendment would change the provision setting out the bank's purpose and cite the Liberal Party of Canada's platform, which states, and I quote:
We will establish the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to provide low-cost financing to build new infrastructure projects. The federal government can use its strong credit rating and lending authority to make it easier and more affordable for municipalities to build the projects their communities need. Where a lack of capital represents a barrier to projects, a Canada Infrastructure Bank will provide loan guarantees and small capital contributions to provinces and municipalities to ensure that the projects are built.
That was the Liberal Party of Canada's platform. During the election campaign, the Liberals proposed the creation of an infrastructure bank to Canadians.
My amendment would change the bank's purpose to read as follows:
6 The purpose of the Bank is to provide low-cost financing—including by means of loan guarantees and small capital contributions—to municipal governments for the construction of new infrastructures. It makes use of the Government of Canada's solid credit ratings and lending power to allow municipalities to easily and affordably subsidize the infrastructure projects that they need.
I would therefore be very surprised if my government colleagues were to reject an amendment incorporating, word for word, part of their party's election platform into the bill. You can understand how shocked I would be if they did not think the content of their platform was good enough to be included in the provisions governing the infrastructure bank. What I am proposing is simply what they told Canadians they would do in their platform.
This is a perfect opportunity for my Liberal colleagues to walk the talk. I can't see how they could object to this. Indeed, I would be extremely shocked if they did not support this amendment.
I will stop there so that we can discuss the amendment. Naturally, I will call for a recorded division afterwards.