The Low Down on Construction – April 6
Since he was elected in October of 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been mired in a sea of controversy. One can always find fault with leadership decisions no matter what your political views are. While I don’t agree with everything Prime Minister Trudeau has done or said since taking office, I do like the concept of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
This Crown Corporation operates at arm’s length from government and is governed by a Board of Directors. Over the next decade it’s anticipated that more than $35 billion will be strategically invested in infrastructure projects by way of the Infrastructure Bank and its related programs. The Bank will use federal support to attract private sector and institutional investment to new revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest. By leveraging the capital and expertise of the private sector, the Bank will help public dollars go further. In addition, this investment will result in job creation and continued economic growth.
Now the downside…..the targeted projects for Infrastructure Bank investment are not necessarily the right fit for Saskatchewan. Here’s the breakdown:
- $5 billion for public transit systems;
- $5 billion for trade and transportation corridors; and,
- $5 billion for green infrastructure projects, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean air and safe water systems, and promote renewable power.
Our infrastructure needs in Saskatchewan are vastly different from those of Toronto. For example, we won’t be investing in LRT or mass public transit technology in the near future. It would appear that the current plans for the Infrastructure Bank will leave Saskatchewan in the cold, and favor those provinces with higher and denser populations.
Our government has been vocal in relaying their thoughts regarding this issue as well. As a province, we need to band together and voice our concerns to Ottawa and ensure they understand that our needs are different. Infrastructure spending is every bit important to our economy as it is to others.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank is providing a glimmer of hope on the national horizon. This big idea has so much potential, it’s now up to us to capitalize on these opportunities.