The federal government may speed up spending on infrastructure projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Prime Minister Trudeau recently said that infrastructure spending is “the key” to kick-starting Canada’s economy.
Premier Notley recently commissioned a report on infrastructure financing by former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge.
William Watson: Crumbling infrastructure notwithstanding, we shouldn’t submit to more public spending
It’s true that in Montreal, our roads are chronically potholed and some of our highways, overpasses and bridges are literally crumbling. But does that come from any general reluctance to invest in public goods?
Before we buy boatloads of new infrastructure in Canada, we should ask why current infrastructure is crumbling.
Many Ontarians have likely heard a horror story or two about their government’s growing debt and the resulting strain on public finances. You can’t blame them. Sources of evidence abound.
The City of Vancouver is the only municipality in B.C. that can directly take on debt without permission from the provincial and regional governments. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also the only municipality in the Metro region with liabilities (debt, employee pension obligations, etc) consistently greater than financial assets (cash, investments, etc).
Asking for more money is common among municipal officials. Despite soaring transfers from higher level governments, municipalities repeatedly claim they need more because their revenue sources lack growth potential.