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CCA to partner with municipalities on national infrastructure report

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by Vince Versace

The Canadian Construction Association plans to partner with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to create an annual national state of infrastructure report.
CCA to partner with municipalities on national infrastructure report

Canadian Construction Association

The Canadian Construction Association plans to partner with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to create an annual national state of infrastructure report.

The cost-shared study will require $25,000 from each partner in order to launch the initiative.

The CCA’s funding will be drawn from the coffers of its TRIP Canada committee.

Nailing down an accurate picture and value of the state of the nation’s infrastructure and its required rehabilitation is the goal of the study.

“We want to see what else we can do to keep the government moving forward on the infrastructure issue,” said Bill Ferreira, executive director of TRIP Canada and director of government relations and public affairs, at the CCA’s recent annual conference.

Even though infrastructure is currently front-and-centre for the federal government, as it generated its $30 billion stimulus plan, municipal and industry officials want to ensure ongoing attention to the country’s roads, bridges, highways and sewers after the current recession is over.

The report would provide the federal government with the ongoing information it needs to address infrastructure woes, Ferreira said.

Chris McNally, chair of CCA’s road builders and heavy construction council, said the association wanted to try and find a way to depoliticize the process of creating pressure on the government in order to draw attention to infrastructure.

Producing a report that is not self-serving and with a credible partner, such as the FCM, was the best route to take, McNally said.

The estimated $123 billion municipal infrastructure deficit referred to by the FCM and other infrastructure advocates has always been a best estimate, state various infrastructure stakeholders.

This $123 billion estimate includes $40.2 billion for community, recreational cultural and social infrastructure, $31 billion for waste and wastewater systems, $22.8 billion for transit, $21.7 billion for transportation and $7.7 for solid waste management.

The CCA has stated in the past the estimated $123 billion deficit does not take into account the price tag for new systems to add capacity and expand systems.

Danger Ahead: The Coming Collapse of Canada’s Municipal Infrastructure was a report commissioned by the FCM in 2007 and it stated that 80 per cent of Canada’s infrastructure is past its expected service life.

The report also indicated that the current $123 billion municipal infrastructure deficit could cripple municipalities.

Acknowledging the infrastructure deficit as a problem and defining the size, scope and jurisdictional characteristics of the deficit are the first steps to a long-term national infrastructure policy addressing the issue, added Dr. Saeed Mirza, the report’s research team leader.

To help define the parameters of the study, a Canadian university with a civil engineering program could possibly be engaged into the process, said Ferreira.

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