Mary Van Buren
President, Canadian Construction Association
Highways, roads, bridges, ports and other forms of transportation infrastructure are integral to maintaining the quality of life Canadians enjoy. They are not only essential for commuting and travel, but also allow for movement of goods and services that underpin the economy. This is even more evident now that the world is coping with a significant reduction in the movement of people and goods due to COVID-19. Canadians depend on safe, reliable transportation infrastructure, which itself relies on a sufficient commitment of resources on the part of governments.
Canada’s public infrastructure needs a stable, well-coordinated funding plan
According to the latest Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, much of Canada’s public infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. Nearly 40% of roads and bridges, for instance, are in fair, poor, or very poor condition.
“The lack of steady and coordinated investment over the last 25 years has brought us to where we are today,” says Mary Van Buren, president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). “Our infrastructure is aging and will require rehabilitation and replacement in the next few decades to ensure services continue to meet the needs of communities.”
Any long-term plan also needs to leave room for the unexpected. Infrastructure investment will need to be a particular focus in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as countries recover economically and attempt to reinvigorate affected channels of commerce and transportation.
“Funding must be made steady, reliable and consider long-term infrastructure realities,” says Van Buren. “A forward-looking, long-term infrastructure plan would smooth out the ebbs and flows, and provide stability, investor confidence and better planning for industry, as well as ensure that assets are routinely monitored and restored.”