Thursday August 7, 2014
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 7, 2014
Kathleen Wynne urges feds to stop neglecting infrastructure
Premier Kathleen Wynne says infrastructure in Canada is in dire straits.
“Public infrastructure in Canada has been neglected by all levels of government for too long,” Wynne told a special interprovincial summit Wednesday.
“And I would argue that now — time is up,” she said, adding progress can only be made when the provinces and the federal governments work together.
Wynne noted that Ontario is asking Ottawa “to do its part” by increasing it’s annual investment in infrastructure to 2 per cent of GDP.
“This is not about asking the federal government for something that isn’t going to benefit them,” she said.
Wynne said for example the province is sending $130 billion over 10 years on infrastructure compared to the federal government spending $70 billion over the next decade on the whole country.
The Premier said investment in infrastructure started to drop off in the 1970s “when Canada pulled back from a period of postwar infrastructure investment.
“This mistake wasn’t fully apparent until the 1990s. That’s when the crack could no longer be hidden,” she told the gathering of premiers, provincial ministers and municipal and private sector representatives.
Wynne noted that according to a Statistics Canada report, 10 per cent of private sector productivity gains between 1962 and 2006 were due to investment in infrastructure.
She also cited another StatsCan report that concluded that every dollar invested in public infrastructure lowers business costs by 11 cents and reduces manufacturing costs by 27 cents on average. (Source: Toronto Star)