According to briefing documents leaked to the Canadian Press, the federal government’s ambitious plans for investing in infrastructure may be hampered by a lack of data on the state of Canada’s roads, bridges, highways, water and sewer systems. The lack of data is likely to pose challenges for the new government, who came to power promising to make evidence-based decisions.
Local governments may have the most detailed information about the state of infrastructure across the country. This is especially true in Ontario where municipalities develop asset management plans. Given the level of knowledge about the state of infrastructure that local communities posses, the Federation Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is pushing for municipalities to be consulted on where new infrastructure money would be best spent.
According to FCM President Raymond Louie:
It’s important that any investment plan recognizes that municipalities are best positioned to decide which projects will provide the biggest boost to the economy and the greatest improvement to the quality of life of people in their communities…
The new federal government has promised to increase spending on infrastructure by an average of $6 billion a year for the next 10 years.