CALGARY, Feb. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The latest research from the Canada West
Foundation concludes that Canada's governments should not hesitate when
it comes to maintaining a high level of investment in public
infrastructure because it is a key driver of economic productivity.
At the Intersection: The Case for Sustained and Strategic Public
Infrastructure Investment, is based on over 200 studies and shows a strong link between public
infrastructure investment and long-term economic growth. Currently,
Canadian public and private infrastructure assets, which are used daily
and enable our economy to function, are valued at $4 trillion.
"The Canadian economy has to become more productive or we won't be able
to maintain social programs in the face of an aging population without
significantly increasing taxes. The good news is that investing in
public infrastructure can boost economic productivity," says Canada
West Foundation Senior Policy Analyst and co-author of the report Casey
At the Intersection proposes five recommendations to help grow the economy and maintain our
quality of life:
- Sustained and strategic investments in Canada's public infrastructure should be continued.
Priority should be given to public infrastructure that enhances economic performance.
Governments should encourage innovative approaches to the design of public infrastructure.
Governments should not focus exclusively on new infrastructure and
should give due consideration to renewing existing public infrastructure.
- Ongoing analysis and evaluation of recent public infrastructure investments should be conducted and the
lessons applied to future investments.
"It would be a shame if we decided to wiggle out of our fiscal problems
by offloading the cost of repairing our existing infrastructure onto
the next generation," says Vander Ploeg. "Similarly, if we fail to
consider the economic value of investing in public infrastructure, we
risk undermining the economic prosperity we need to maintain our high
quality of life in this country."
Municipal Infrastructure Forum members endorse Report
The Canada West Foundation is pleased the report has been endorsed by
MIF members as well as other municipal infrastructure stakeholders. The
report provides further evidence of the importance for governments to
act quickly to adopt the MIF principles released in October 2012.
The MIF membership includes the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian
Construction Association, Canadian Public Works Association, Canadian Union of Public Employees,
Canadian Urban Transit Association, Engineers Canada, Federation of
Canadian Municipalities and Insurance Bureau of Canada.
The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and the Association of
Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada have also endorsed the report.
About the Municipal Infrastructure Forum
The Municipal Infrastructure Forum was established by FCM in partnership
with key infrastructure stakeholder groups. The goal was to build
consensus around the importance of adequate public sector investment in
infrastructure and to generate a series of practical recommendations to
help inform the decisions of public policy makers. Together the Forum
participants have put together five key principles which provide a
20-year roadmap for governments to provide secure, stable investment
that will help put our economy on a strong foundation and keep pace
with Canada's growing needs.
MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM
PRINCIPLES FOR THE LONG-TERM INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN (LTIP)
- Secure, stable investments. LTIP must provide certainty and predictability to cities and
communities over the long-term.
- Supporting economic growth. LTIP must put our economy on a strong foundation by guaranteeing that
future infrastructure investments keep pace with the growing needs
created by economic and population growth.
- Flexibility: Keeping communities - large and small - strong. Large cities and smaller communities, and different regions of the
country, have different needs; one solution will not fit all. LTIP must
be flexible in its design in recognition of the unique challenges faced
by all municipalities across the country.
- A balanced approach with smart partnerships. LTIP must enable municipalities to strategically invest in local
infrastructure priorities while also providing predictability over
time. Private sector involvement must be considered as one tool in
the municipal toolkit. However, P3s are not a panacea for Canada's
infrastructure challenge and cannot address our infrastructure needs
- Building municipal capacity. Federal investments must help build the capacities of all cities and
communities to plan, build and maintain their infrastructure over the
long term. Ensuring that municipalities have access to tools such as
asset management, peer to peer best practices, and/or planning
resources will help all governments track the value of these
investments and to tackle tough economic, environmental and social
challenges in the future.
The Canada West Foundation thanks the Canadian Construction Association
for funding this independent public policy brief.
Canada West Foundation is the only think tank dedicated to being the objective, non-partisan
voice for issues of vital concern to western Canadians. For over 40
years, through its research and commentary, the Foundation has
contributed to better government decisions and a stronger Canadian
For more information about At the Intersection: The Case for Sustained and Strategic Public
Infrastructure Investment, visit www.cwf.ca.
SOURCE: Canada West Foundation