ACEC recommendations reflected in House of Commons report
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has released a report on targeted infrastructure investments to influence social, economic and environmental outcomes. The Committee's report, released in late June, outlines 18 recommendations, many of which align with testimony and recommendations by ACEC's President and CEO John Gamble.
While ACEC agrees that it is appropriate, and in some cases necessary, to target infrastructure investments to advance broader public policy, there is also a need for more agile and flexible programs that allow communities to address their infrastructure requirements. Such targeted and prescriptive programs and flexible programs can, and need to, exist side-by-side.
ACEC's presentation emphasized the need to continue efforts to undertake an evidence-based national infrastructure assessment on which to base all infrastructure investment decisions. This would greatly assist with the development of both targeted and flexible programs to help communities meet unique needs and achieve diverse goals.
ACEC strongly recommended that in addition to traditional project-specific, application-based funding opportunities, Infrastructure Canada should allow for communities to apply for funding of multi-year, multi-project programs based upon asset management planning principles. Noting that a community’s infrastructure is essentially an interconnected ecosystem of infrastructure assets, program-based funding would support strategic planning and decision-making and offer the most value to communities and the best return to the taxpayer.