About the Issue
Public infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and quality of life, but after decades of underinvestment, Canada is only just beginning to confront its "infrastructure deficit", a backlog of delayed repairs and construction that hurts every Canadian family and business. For 25 years Canadians have watched the symptoms of the infrastructure deficit grow: rusting bridges, crumbling roads, crowded buses and subways, and thousands of drinking water warnings.
How has this happened? Revenue imbalance. Municipalities own 53% of the country's infrastructure but collect just eight cents of every tax dollar paid in Canada, with the other 92 cents going to federal, provincial and territorial governments.
On their own, municipalities don't have the revenue tools to rebuild infrastructure, especially while they are expected to meet growing needs for policing, housing, the environment and immigrant settlement, including many responsibilities downloaded from other governments.
All governments - federal, provincial, territorial and municipal - must work together and with the private sector to make immediate infrastructure repairs to protect public health and safety. They must act now to establish a fully funded, long-term plan to build roads, water systems, community facilities and transportation systems Canada needs to support businesses and families, enrich our quality of life and maintain competitiveness in international markets.