Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, has launched an engagement paper on Canada’s first national infrastructure assessment: Building the Canada We Want in 2050.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the greatest recession since the Great Depression and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build the Canada we want as we invest in our recovery,” says McKenna.
“But we will not achieve our ambition by accident. Working with Canadians, using the best available data and guided by global best practices, we can guide our infrastructure spending to chart a strong path to 2050, creating good jobs, tackling climate change, and building cleaner, more inclusive communities. Working together, this project can be nation-building.”
The paper sets out the purpose and benefits of undertaking a National Infrastructure Assessment and seeks input from the public, Indigenous Peoples, provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders on three main priorities of the assessment:
- Assessing Canada’s infrastructure needs and establishing a long-term vision;
- Improving coordination among infrastructure owners and funders; and
- Determining the best ways to fund and finance infrastructure.
Since the creation of the Investing in Canada Plan in 2016, best practices for long-term infrastructure planning have evolved. A National Infrastructure Assessment is the new global standard, recognized by the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and recently adopted by the United Kingdom and Australia.
The National Infrastructure Assessment, once in place, will help identify Canada’s evolving needs and priorities in the built environment and undertake evidence-based long-term planning toward a net-zero emissions future.
The deadline for providing feedback is June 30, 2021.
Following the engagement process, the Government will consider the next steps for the National Infrastructure Assessment, including reviewing priorities, establishing an independent advisory body, setting out the processes for obtaining expert advice, ongoing public engagement and producing interim studies and reports to inform infrastructure policy and investment.
The Government of Canada announced its intention to conduct a National Infrastructure Assessment in December 2020 as part of Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, and reinforced that intention in the Prime Minister’s Supplementary Mandate Letter to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in January 2021.
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Featured image: Parliament Buildings, Ottawa