Creaking infrastructure

17 March 2008

Canada's infrastructure is “near collapse,” according to a report on the state of municipal infrastructure from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The report says Canada has used up 79% of the service life of its public infrastructure, and that it will cost CA$ 123 billion (US$ 124 billion) to rectify this.

“If we don't act soon as a nation to tackle this deficit, we will see more catastrophic failures in our roads, bridges, water supply and other vital infrastructure. Continued delay is unthinkable,” said FCM president Gord Steeves.

The CA$ 123 billion (US$ 124 billion) estimate includes ‘sub-deficits' for key categories of infrastructure. The biggest is for community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure, at CA$ 40.2 billion (US$ 40.5 billion), followed by water and wastewater systems at CA$ 31.0 billion (US$ 31.2 billion), transportation at CA$ 21.7 billion (US$ 21.9 billion), transit at CA$ 22.8 billion (US$ 23.0 billion) and solid-waste management at CA$ 7.7 billion (US$ 7.8 billion).

Mr Steeves added, “The cost of fixing this problem will only go up. Any serious plan to eliminate this deficit must begin with an acknowledgement of the scope of the problem.”

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