ACEC to Federal Finance Committee:
Infrastructure Investment Critical to
Canada's Economic Health
ACEC continues to encourage the federal government to follow through on its pledge to work with stakeholders to develop a long-term infrastructure investment strategy. ACEC was invited by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to make a written submission as part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultations.
In its submission, ACEC recommends that parliament and the federal government begin work immediately to develop a national, long-term infrastructure investment strategy. The plan should set priorities, identify clear objectives, establish the roles and responsibilities of all partners, and measure the return on investment. This will allow future investments to strengthen the Canadian economy and to have the most meaningful impact on the country’s infrastructure deficit. Development of the strategy will need to begin during the 2011-2012 fiscal year in order for the roll-out to be achieved by the expiry of the Building Canada Fund in 2014.
ACEC believes that infrastructure is an investment – not an expense. It is an investment in the economic, social and environmental prosperity of the country. Prudent ongoing investment will strengthen the economy, create sustainable jobs and contribute to a balanced budget in the long run. The recent infrastructure investments made possible by the Building Canada Fund and the Stimulus Action Plan were clearly helpful. However, in spite of these recent efforts, infrastructure investment in Canada has significantly declined since the 1960s.
A long-term strategic investment program offers an important opportunity. Strategic investment in infrastructure is imperative to achieving sustainability and significant life-cycle savings. This investment is essential not only to our economy but also to our quality of life and to sustaining the environment that surrounds us.
In developing its submission, ACEC worked closely with its partners at Engineers Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
John Gamble, CET, P.Eng.