According to a new report released this week by the Senate Committee on National Finance, the federal government has not developed a coherent strategic plan for the billions of dollars it intends to spend on infrastructure. The committee has been studying the government’s infrastructure program since February of 2016, hearing from 34 witnesses at more than fifteen meetings.
Key findings from the report include:
- the Government of Canada (GoC) has not developed a strategic infrastructure plan
- There are numerous infrastructure support programs across 31 different government ministries and agencies, each with its own priorities, terms and conditions, timelines and reporting requirements. This administrative burden is complex, poorly coordinated, and potentially duplicative
- A single-window approach, similar to the Gas Tax Fund, would be more suitable for providing funding for municipalities
- Local government’s have raised a number of concerns with the current application-based programs
- Municipalities, themselves, are best placed to determine their own infrastructure needs
- The current program excludes trade infrastructure, which is crucial for encouraging trade and stimulating productivity.
Read the full report here.