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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.


Quebec or Bosnia : who has safer public infrastructure?

Honestly, after reading this, I think I’d take Bosnia over one of the Montreal bridges, overpasses or tunnels…

What a shame. And disgrace.

But look y’all, before we in the RoC start feeling all smug-like, start looking at the condition of some of the streets etc. in your neck of the woods. Many of us are not that far behind QC, infrastructure crisis-wise…

Big bills coming up… just saying…–large-concrete-slab-collapses-in-montreal-tunnel?bn=1


ATTENTION! Federal party leaders!!! Yes! You!!!

Are any of you going to address the dire needs of Canada’s cities?

Once again, the mainstream media is correctly pointing out that Canada needs to address its urban infrastructure deficit – and it needs to happen NOW!

Main point of the article:

A national urban strategy must recognize the predominant role cities play in our economic growth. Rather than provide all municipalities with equal per capita shares, this long-term plan needs to have a greater strategic focus on Canada’s urban centres – the places that will provide the biggest boost to our economic growth. The priorities may differ across the country – from transportation infrastructure in Toronto to housing in Calgary – but the need for federal support extends from coast to coast.

I know that, the majority of the time, whenever someone to the right on the political spectrum hears the word national strategy”, they start running around in circles and flapping the arms while screaming “SOCIALISM”!!!” But this is different – and even the Harperites sort of recognised this in last week’s ill-fated budget where they announced intentions to make the gas tax contribution toward infrastructure permanent, while also pledging to help develop a new long-term infrastructure plan (what ever that means).

It remains to be seen if this will hold if the Harperites come back as a majority government… the über-right elements in the party will need placation… but it was a good intention, I suppose.

But as Calgary’s forward-thinking Mayor Nenshi has said in reference to the one liner in the Budget :

“It is sort of a weird thing to put into a budget -‘We’ll plan to make a plan,’ ” he said.

“It’s better than having no plan, but like I say: I would have liked to see some elements of what that plan might look like, even today.”

Flesh it out, Harper, Iggy and Jack. Tell us what such a strategy would look like!