Transportation & Infrastructure

TraIMG-TICLarge-20140605REALnsportation and infrastructure issues affect all regions in Canada thus making it important for federal parties to have policies and commitments that address them. Over the last number of years, the Conservative government has structured transportation and infrastructure spending largely out of its Building Canada Plan. This 10-year, $53 billion plan focuses funding on transit, waste water and sewage, roads and community infrastructure projects, to name a few. Most recently, the government announced a New Public Transit Fund for dedicated public transit infrastructure funding in Canada`s largest cities to address gridlock and congestion. This latter commitment is particularly relevant to the Conservatives’ bid to win back ridings in the Greater Toronto Area which were first-time wins in the 2011 election.

The New Democrats have long been supporters of public transit (with some MPs tabling their own Private Member’s Bills in Parliament, calling for a National Urban Transit Strategy) and have committed that, under an NDP government, an additional one cent of the existing 10-cents-per-litre of federal gas tax would be applied to roads, bridges and other core infrastructure. This additional funding would increase incrementally to reach $1.5-billion annually by the end of an NDP government’s first term, on top of almost $2.2 billion in existing annual gas tax transfers to municipalities.

The Liberals have focused their transportation and infrastructure priorities, up to now, more on infrastructure financing, by committing to boost infrastructure funding through “alternative sources of capital” such as having large pension funds invest in major infrastructure projects in urban and rural communities.  This model has recently been implemented by the Québec provincial government and the Liberals are of the opinion that a similar approach would deliver benefits at the federal level.

No matter what party forms the next government in October, transportation anIMG-Transportation-20140605d infrastructure issues will be at the forefront through the campaign, as the need to tackle congestion and gridlock, allowing for more efficient trade and increased productivity, continues to grow across the country. These kinds of issues are inherently local in nature – voters actually see and experience gridlock and crumbling infrastructure first-hand in their communities.  While the national campaigns are expected to develop broad commitments on transportation and infrastructure, candidates are also questioned on them at the doorstep.  Important issues to all parties and candidates, regardless of political stripe.

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Infrastructure Funding

Federal Infrastructure Funding Pre-writ Announcements

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