This is going across the wire today.
Canada’s infrastructure deficit hits $123 billion, report says
OTTAWA – Canada’s water treatment facilities, roads and public infrastructure is on the verge of collapse because of a $123-billion building deficit, a new report warned Tuesday.
The report, released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, suggests that the cost of fixing crumbling infrastructure has more than doubled over the past four years, and will continue to rise if no new investments are made.
“Across Canada, municipal infrastructure has reached the breaking point,” reads the study written by Dr. Saeed Mirza, a McGill University civil engineering professor in Montreal. “Most was built between the 1950s and 1970s, and much of it is due for replacement. We can see the consequences in every community: potholes and crumbling bridges, water-treatment and transit systems that cannot keep up with demand, traffic gridlock, poor air quality and a lack of affordable housing.”
the deficit into five categories. He estimated that $31 billion would be needed for water and waste water systems, $21.7 billion for transportation, $22.8 billion for transit, $7.7 billion for waste management, and $40.2 billion for community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure.
“It points to a looming crisis that if unchecked, will reduce our standard of living, our safety and our quality of life as Canadians,” said Gord Steeves, president of the federation, at a news conference. “The report says that Canada’s public infrastructure is at 79 per cent of its service life and that municipal infrastructure has reached its breaking point. It shows that the physical foundation of Canada’s cities and communities are near collapse.”
The federation estimated that municipalities would need to raise property taxes by 40 per cent to cover the estimated infrastructure deficit, so it is calling on the federal government to replace its existing patchwork of ad hoc program’s with a new national program to address all of their concerns.
“It is a wakeup call to everyone who thinks we can ignore our decaying municipal infrastructure or tackle it with half measures,” said Steeves. “We’re not saying that our bridges will begin falling down tomorrow, but we are saying that if serious action is not taken now, our infrastructure is headed for collapse. The problem will simply overtake us.”