A new bill from Alberta’s government will make decisions to deliver infrastructure projects, such as schools and hospitals, based on legislated criteria and long-term planning.
If passed, the Infrastructure Accountability Act will legislate a governance framework, including criteria to guide how capital project decisions and spending are prioritized. The act will increase transparency, accountability and remove politics from the process of building Alberta’s public infrastructure supporting Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
The act also legislates the development and regular review of a 20-year strategic capital plan. Considering economic and global trends, the 20-year plan will help guide government’s infrastructure decisions over the long term.
“Alberta’s government is taking the politics out of building public infrastructure,” stated Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure. “The Infrastructure Accountability Act gives Alberta taxpayers certainty that their money is being spent on the critical public infrastructure projects that our province most needs.”
“This legislation is another example of Alberta’s commitment to economic recovery and growth,” added Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance. “Building Alberta will be more transparent than ever before and represents the gold standard for accountable capital planning. I look forward to seeing this bill in action.”
- The six criteria in the Infrastructure Accountability Act evaluate how a capital project will:
- address health, safety and compliance needs
- align with government priorities and strategies
- foster economic activity and create jobs
- improve program delivery and services
- consider life-cycle costs and whether it will generate a return on investment
- enhance the resiliency of communities
- The 20-year strategic capital plan must be published within one year of the act coming into force.
- The Infrastructure Accountability Act will position Alberta as only the second province, following Ontario, to legislate prioritization criteria for its capital plan decision-making.
- In summer 2020, the government invited its partners, job creators and Albertans to get involved in ensuring the province has the right infrastructure in place to meet future needs. What we heard helped develop the Infrastructure Accountability Act and the 20-year strategic capital plan.
Featured image: Alberta Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda checking the construction progress on the North Calgary High School Sunday, October 24, 2021. (Alberta Infrastructure)