TORONTO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 08th October, 2020) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his government‘s $692-million-dollar supercluster program during Question Period after a report that said the initiative is falling short on set targets.

On Tuesday, Canada‘s Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) said in a report that of the $78.42 million allotted for the program at the time of the probe, only $22.62 had been tapped into and of which 59 percent – $13.57 million – was spent on operating and administration costs.

“We’re investing across the country to help innovative industries that will prepare us for the future and the jobs of the future… that’s why we’re investing so much in the superclusters, because we have trust in the future that Canadians are building,” Trudeau said on Wednesday.

The PBO estimates that even in the event all the money is spent, the initiative would create only 27,000 jobs, instead of the promised 50,000 and it is unclear whether they would be permanent.

The report also said that it is “highly unlikely” that the program would create the promised $37.70 billion in additional economic growth in the next ten years.

The report found that of the $819.66 million promised by non-federal partners only $135.73 have been committed towards projects.

The PBO added that the government would have to find an additional 355 projects to meet its objective, while private and academic partners would have to commit funding to 223 more projects.

The Trudeau government announced the initiative in the 2017 budget, investing millions of Dollars into digital, protein, manufacturing, artificial intelligence and ocean superclusters.

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