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Following up on Quebec’s infrastructure debacle…

… is this article in The Star on how these problems should serve as warning signs for the rest of the country.

The city’s roadway problems are perhaps the most extreme example of what the Federation of Canadian Municipalities calls a $123 billion shortfall in municipal infrastructure spending across the country.

“It’s like a cancer in a human being: if you catch it in time, it will be okay, but if you don’t it will spread,” said Saeed Mirza, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at McGill University.

“What I would like to say to the government is: if you cannot maintain it, do not build it.”

True words. If we to avoid the Quebec problems, our pols at all levels must come to terms with the fact that significant investments are needed. Now.


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  1. The underlying problem: nobody wants to pay property taxes.

    It’s not just crumbling infrastructure… it’s lack of vision in new infrastructure. Nobody wants to pay, so there’s no money in the budget.

    Look at Ottawa. They give out money to festivals, but come up short on snow clearing. Everyone wants a world-class town, but they want to cut every imaginable corner on public transit. The whole city thinks the money should come out of thin air, instead of from taxes…

    When taxes are raised, people howl. And FSM-forbid someone should suggest diverting money from a social program to pay for something like infrastructure. That would be political suicide.

    People everywhere, including Quebec have to understand that infrastructure is important, and it costs money. That money has to come from somewhere, be it taxes or program cuts in other areas.

  2. Dave says:

    What is a poor conservative to do. We know the roads need attention and certainly want to build them rather than pay for socialist mass transit, and know that the large majority of Canadians rely on safe roads and bridges, but gosh we really want to build prisons we don’t need, and buy the most expensive jets in the world. It’s so tough reconciling what is really needed with our ideological desire to punish people and have a big military. Governing is tough. I think I have to go now and find someone powerless to blame for making this so hard

    1. Actually, we do need more prisons, and have for some time. When people aren’t bitching about not needing more prisons, you may notice how they bitch about inhumane, overcrowded existing prisons. That mantra has been going on from long before the current government, so you can’t just blame Harper.

      If the prisons are overcrowded, you need more prisons. If the prisons are old and decrepit, you need new prisons or prison overhaul projects.

      Lots of people would love to just forget about prisons, like they don’t exist… but they do, they’re important, and they cost money.

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