Ministers, Tory MPs pledge new cash, recycle old promises as election looms

Federal cabinet ministers have made more than $1.4 billion in spending promises in the last two days, as the hours tick down to an expected election call.

OTTAWA — Federal cabinet ministers have made more than $1.4 billion in spending promises in the last two days, as the hours tick down to an expected election call.

Since Thursday morning, the Conservatives have made 101 announcements offering either new infrastructure money, or spending promises recycled from the April budget.

Add in 12 reminders the government put out about how much the provinces will receive in federal gas tax funding to pay for infrastructure this year and the total dollar figure for all the announcements to Friday afternoon totals almost $3.36 billion.

The spending flurry comes as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is widely expected to officially open the election campaign on Sunday.

It follows a Friday report from Statistics Canada that said the economy shrank again in May, the fifth consecutive monthly decline.

Liberal MP Marc Garneau said the Conservative record as good managers of the economy is in tatters, given the economic report.

But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it won’t just be the Conservatives who have to answer about the economy during the campaign.

The federation said opposition parties will be pressed to say what they would do differently to get things moving.

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