October 13, 2010
Infrastructure report card to provide accurate value and status of assets
A national infrastructure report card the Canadian Construction Association is leading the charge in creating will be fact-based without rhetoric, says one of its members.
“The advocacy will be left to us,” said Chris McNally, chair of CCA’s civil infrastructure council. “We want to make as accurate and unassailable, as possible, a fact sheet of what the infrastructure is worth and what its condition is.”
CCA has been working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) and the Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) in the developing the report card. CCA and FCM have both contributed $30,000 to the $70,000 initiative.
The report card aims to provide an accurate picture of the value and state of national infrastructure and the cost of maintaining it. CCA received an update on the report card’s development at its recent board meeting in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Even though infrastructure is currently front and centre for the federal government, municipal and industry officials want to ensure ongoing attention to the country’s roads, bridges, highways and sewers after the federal stimulus program ends. Producing a “depoliticized” report that is not self-serving and with strong partners like FCM, CSCE and CPWA should deliver an essential ongoing reference point for industry, government and the general public, CCA believes.
“We feel we have always been missing, the national, factual measurement of what the (infrastructure) asset is worth and what the (infrastructure) asset’s condition is,” said McNally. “By doing that routinely, we can baseline it and show if it is going up or down.”
The United States, United Kingdom and Australia have produced regular infrastructure report cards aimed at raising awareness among the public and elected officials. The main barrier to the production of these reports is consistent data availability, noted CCA.
FCM has estimated that Canada’s municipal infrastructure deficit sits at approximately $123 billion which has always been a best estimate.
This deficit estimate includes $40.2 billion for community, recreational cultural and social infrastructure, $31 billion for waste and wastewater systems, $22.8 billion for transit, $21.7 billion for transportation and $7.7 for solid waste management. CCA has stated in the past the estimated $123 billion deficit does not take into account the price tag for new systems to add capacity and expand systems.
The report card is expected to be unveiled in spring of 2011 and CCA and FCM hope to promote it at the upcoming National Infrastructure Summit hosted by the City of Regina, from Jan. 26 to 28, 2011.
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