Canada’s public infrastructure at risk, new report finds

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

A new report shows that a significant amount of public infrastructure in Canada is aging and in poor condition—reinforcing the urgent need for long-term and sustainable investments in infrastructure renewal to meet the needs of Canadians.

“Reliable infrastructure connects our communities, enables our economy and protects our environment – it supports our quality of life right across the country,” John Gamble, president and CEO, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC) said in a statement. “So in light of these findings, Canadians should be concerned.”

The 2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card—produced by ACEC-Canada and seven partner organizations—examines the state of Canada’s public infrastructure. Among the key findings:

  • Nearly 40 percent of roads and bridges are in fair, poor or very poor condition, with roughly 80 per cent being more than 20 years old.
  • Between 30 and 35 percent of recreational and cultural facilities are in fair, poor or very poor condition. In some categories (such as pools, libraries and community centres), more than 60 per cent are at least 20 years old.
  • 30 per cent of water infrastructure (such as watermains and sewers) are in fair, poor or very poor condition.

“This report shows the critical importance of long-term investments in renewing our existing infrastructure,” Gamble said.

Building off similar reports in 2012 and 2016, the 2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card is produced by ACEC-Canada, the Canadian Construction Association, the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, the Canadian Public Works Association, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the Canadian Urban Transit Association, the Canadian Network of Asset Managers and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. ACEC thanks its partners for their leadership and support of this initiative.

The report can be downloaded here.

“While successive federal government have responded with significant commitments to infrastructure, there is still much more to do,” Gamble said.

To ensure the voice of the consulting engineering industry is heard in the upcoming election, over the past several months ACEC has developed its comprehensive election plan including the microsite www.investinfrastructure.ca which puts the value of infrastructure at the forefront of our election priorities.

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