The National Infrastructure Assessment is an important first step that will help lay out a comprehensive approach to build an evidence-based, independent approach to planning and delivering infrastructure across the country.
Across Canada there are unprecedented levels of investment in infrastructure. These investments will shape Canada’s long-term success in terms of economic growth, improving the quality of life and promoting equity, and mitigating environmental impact.
Public infrastructure is delivered by the public and private sectors together and a more evidence-based, collaborative approach would present a win-win. Countries like Australia, the UK, and New Zealand have recognized that the status quo around planning, procuring, and delivering infrastructure is unsustainable and have used assessments as an early step towards building broad understanding of the issues faced before developed strategies, plans, and incremental changes to get greater value for public investment.
Although the Federal Government is only responsible for delivering and maintaining a small proportion of national infrastructure, it has a key role to play in setting a national direction around reform in the overall approach to infrastructure delivery.
As evidenced by the work of the Australian Government, and in particular Infrastructure Australia, a strong direction provided a basis that states, and territories could build on. This starts with having best practice processes and governance for Federal projects and using a range of tools to encourage reforms at other levels of government that will ensure that they see greater impact from their investments.