The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) says they are pleased with announcements made by the federal government in Budget 2011 that it plans to work with provinces, municipalities and other stakeholders to chart a path forward in meeting Canada’s future infrastructure needs by recapitalizing the Building Canada Plan in 2014.
“The investments made by all levels of government over the past 24 months have been critical to slowing the growth of our national infrastructure deficit. Not only were these investments long overdue, but they helped generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues at a time when our economy was in dire need of stimulus,” said Michael Atkinson, president of the CCA.
CCA has been a strong advocate for increased federal funding support for national, provincial and local infrastructure repair and construction. As an export-driven nation, these assets are critical to Canada’s future competitiveness. Unfortunately, much of the current infrastructure was built for population levels in the 1960s and not for the near 40 million Canadians expected by 2020. With many of Canada’s international competitors investing billions of dollars to modernize their transportation and export-focused infrastructure, the window to reverse the current decline of Canada’s system of infrastructure is rapidly closing.
“Today, our country stands at a precipice. Within the next 10 years much of our infrastructure will need to be replaced or expanded to avoid economic stagnation. Canada needs to continue to invest in its public infrastructure not simply because it stimulates the economy in the short term but because it is an investment in the very foundation of our nation’s future that ensures Canada’s ability to remain competitive on the international stage, increase productivity, and to build upon our economic and social prosperity,” said Atkinson.
CCA was also pleased the government pledged to introduce legislation to make permanent the $2 billion annual Gas Tax Fund for municipalities, extended funding for 2,200 infrastructure projects into 2011-12, and committed $1 billion under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund to support the construction of the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor.