Pandemic Aid Money Sitting Idle: Study

A new report on billions of dollars the federal government has sent to provinces to help safely reopen the economy suggests much of the money is sitting unused.

Today’s report also suggests that federal efforts to stretch the financial impact of those dollars is falling short as many provinces have bucked cost-matching requests.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analysis seems to indicate six out of 10 provinces haven’t spent all the money the federal government has sent their way, including for things like personal protective equipment.

Moreover, the study's author hints some of the money may yet be spent, but notes the longer it remains unspent, the less likely it ever will be spent.

Ottawa and the provinces are allocating hundreds of billions in direct spending and liquidity support to help workers, families, front-line workers and businesses make it through the pandemic.

The federal treasury has managed the lion’s share of COVID-19 spending — accounting for about $8 in every $10 of aid, according to the federal Finance Department’s math.