Investing in local infrastructure provides a clear and measurable return on investment and addresses the biggest gaps hindering our economic competitiveness.
Improving our roads, bridges, public transit and water systems is one of the best ways to create local jobs, and generates at least $1.20 in annual GDP growth for each dollar invested. What’s more, predictable investments in core municipal infrastructure are vital to keeping goods moving and businesses operating and maintaining a high quality of life for Canadians.
Building and maintaining infrastructure that is resilient to extreme weather will help us tackle environmental and social challenges in the future, while saving taxpayers and local businesses money in the long run. Upgrading important water infrastructure will allow communities to keep our water clean without deferring other important infrastructure priorities.
Canada’s municipalities have consistently demonstrated that they get shovels in the ground quickly on major infrastructure renewal. We need all orders of government to ensure long-term, predictable and sustainable investment in local infrastructure to build a stronger economy for all Canadians.
Municipal infrastructure projects are planned, financed, executed and maintained over 40, 50 and even 60 years. To make the most of public investments and eliminate the municipal infrastructure deficit, municipal governments need predictable, long-term revenue. The 10-year New Building Canada Plan and the permanent and indexed federal Gas Tax Fund are a step toward that goal, laying the groundwork for a plan to eliminate the municipal infrastructure deficit.
Increasing the amount of dedicated funding for core municipal infrastructure by $1.5 billion annually through a predictable and permanent mechanism like the Gas Tax Fund, will strengthen Canada. Read more on FCM’s solutions for healthy job growth and sustainable economic development in our 2015 election platform – A Roadmap for Strong Cities and Communities.