Province owed $41M in federal disaster funds
New Brunswick qualified for federal funding after floods in 2008 and 2010
Auditor General Kim MacPherson is calling on the Department of Public Safety to move faster to recover the $41 million worth of federal disaster relief funding it is owed from floods in 2008 and 2010.
The provincial government has not yet collected the $41 million of funds it qualified for after two major floods in the last five years.
Disaster relief programs are complicated and involve collaboration between federal, provincial and local governments.
In her annual report, MacPherson said the provincial government hasn’t filled out the necessary claims to recover the federal cash that it is owed.
"It's significant and it would be much better if that cash were in our bank account as opposed to the federal government's," she said.
A spokesperson for the Public Safety Department said rebuilding of flooding infrastructure can take years and everything has to be audited by both the provincial and the federal governments.
The auditor general said she understands the process is complicated but the additional cash would help the provincial government's efforts to balance the budget.
The provincial government is forecasting a $356-million deficit this year, which is nearly double the amount estimated in the March budget.
When she released her report in December, MacPherson said the provincial government's growing debt was a "very disturbing trend."
The province’s debt has grown by $3.3 billion or roughly 60 per cent since 2007. The province’s debt is now more than $10 billion.
She said the rise in the debt is a "very disturbing trend."
"This pace of net debt growth is not sustainable in the long term, and significant changes will be required to address this problem," she wrote in her 2012 report.
"It may eventually impact the province's ability to meet its existing financial obligations both in respect of its service commitments to the public and financial commitments to creditors, employees and others."