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During a meeting with the finance committee Finance Minister Bill Morneau suggested that criticizing the federal government’s contribution to the China Infrastructure Bank was “uneducated.”

The comment came shortly after the Conservative Shadow Minister of Finance Pierre Poilievre criticized the Liberal government for contributing $256 million to the Chinese-led project.

“China is going to spend over 8 billion on its civil and military space program, a luxury by anyone’s imagination. You consider the country so poor that it needs a quarter billion Canadian tax dollars,” said Poilievre.

Morneau defended the decision claiming that Canada alongside its partners sees the contribution as legitimate.

“I think it would be important for Canadians to understand that we see it as important to work with development banks,” replied Morneau. “We will maintain that even in the face of uneducated criticism on that approach.”

The federal government has committed to invest the full amount over a 5 year period for a return of one percent shares in the project.