Sohi defends Liberal infrastructure plan, says 20,000 projects underway

The federal infrastructure minister is defending the government's vaunted spending plan to improve Canada's roads, bridges, and water systems against accusations it is sputtering and overly complicated.

Parliamentary budget officer has questioned how well the government is managing planned spending

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi speaks with the media in the Foyer of the House of Commons Tuesday September 20, 2016 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The federal infrastructure minister is defending the government's vaunted spending plan to improve Canada's roads, bridges, and water systems against accusations it is sputtering and overly complicated.

Senate and parliamentary budget officer reports have questioned how well the government is managing the planned $186 billion in spending over the next decade.

'The infrastructure investments we're making are part of a broader plan...the plan is working,' says Infrastructure Min. Amarjeet Sohi. 7:39

In a briefing this morning, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says that 82 per cent of funding has been allocated under the first phase of the Liberal plan, with an estimated 20,000 projects underway.

The details of how much the government has doled out for those projects will be known later this year, but Sohi says cities and provinces are already spending on construction work.

He says it makes sense to have more than a dozen federal organizations involved in distributing the money because the government wants to leverage their expertise.

The second phase of the Liberal spending plan, worth $81.2 billion, has launched half of the programs outlined in last year's budget.