National infrastructure assessment underway – feedback invited until June 30

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Government of Canada has launched an engagement paper on Canada’s first ever national infrastructure assessment: Building the Canada We Want in 2050.” It sets out the purpose and benefits of undertaking a National Infrastructure Assessment and seeks input from the public, Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders on three main priorities of the assessment:

  • Assessing Canada’s infrastructure needs and establishing a long-term vision;
  • Improving coordination among infrastructure owners and funders; and
  • Determining the best ways to fund and finance infrastructure.

According to Catherine McKenna, minister of the environment and climate change, the National Infrastructure Assessment will “help identify Canada’s evolving needs and priorities in the built environment and undertake evidence-based long-term planning toward a net-zero emissions future.

“In the 21st century, the concept of “nation-building infrastructure” is taking on new meaning. It’s not just about railways, bridges and ports. It’s public transit, cycling paths and electric vehicles that help us get around in faster, cleaner and affordable ways,” McKenna states in the report.\

“It’s high-speed broadband and digital infrastructure that allow us to connect with one another. It’s nature that provides resilience against extreme weather and climate change. It’s clean energy to power our homes and our businesses.

“It’s clean water, waste management including the recycling of plastics. And it’s affordable housing, childcare, and community, cultural and recreation centres that build more inclusive and livable communities.”

The government will accept feedback until June 30, relating to the three priorities for the National Infrastructure Assessment and how to achieve them, as outlined in Building the Canada We Want in 2050: Engagement Paper on the National Infrastructure Assessment.

Following the engagement process, the Government will consider the next steps for the National Infrastructure Assessment, including establishing an independent advisory body, setting out the processes for obtaining expert advice, ongoing public engagement and producing interim studies and reports to inform infrastructure policy and investment.

“The National Infrastructure Assessment will provide a stable planning environment to inspire the private sector to invest with confidence,” the report states. “Given constraints on public finances and the drive to make public dollars have maximum impact, all infrastructure owners and funders will benefit from a shared and improved view on the state of Canada’s current infrastructure stock and the future infrastructure needs.”

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