Both Canada and the United States have substantial infrastructure gaps that hinder economic development and impact people’s quality of life. Governments at all levels in both countries are looking for ways to improve the quality of infrastructure with major funding commitments promised.
There are many examples of innovative approaches and policies that are currently in use throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure that can be adapted and used to drive more value. To identify best practices, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto worked with the Infrastructure Lab and Canadian and American companies operating across borders in North America to launch the Canada-US Infrastructure Council (CUSIC).
The Council’s mandate is to promote bilateral dialogue and cross-border collaboration in three priority areas and work streams: developing a North America infrastructure market; building robust project pipelines; and, advancing lifecycle thinking.
Work Stream 1: Developing a North American Infrastructure Market
The mandate of this work stream is to identify the underlying regulatory and technological issues that cause delays in cross-border activities and work with government officials to solve them. When moving equipment and resources across border for major infrastructure projects, companies often face strict regulatory restrictions that can impede the movement of resources, personnel, and equipment. Differences in standards across the continent also hinders smooth cross-border operations. Through research and dialogue, group members work to provide recommendations on process improvement, policy and regulatory issues, and raising awareness.
Chair: Stephen Prendiville, Partner, Infrastructure Advisory, EY
Work Stream 2: Building a Robust Pipeline
Group members work to determine best practices and the most effective models used to build transparent project pipelines that will reduce political risk around major infrastructure projects in North America. As part of its research efforts, this stream explores the approach international jurisdictions at the national and sub-national levels take to establish project pipelines, with the goal of identifying best practices and replicating the model in Canada/US.
Chair: Karen Freund, P.Eng, Vice President, Jacobs
Work Stream 3: Advancing Lifecycle Thinking
The mandate of the third stream of CUSIC is to identify best practices in taking a lifecycle approach for infrastructure assets, from procurement to decommissioning. Capital assets can take years to build and remain in operation for decades, requiring careful financial planning over the long term. Therefore, making the right infrastructure investments requires an analysis and comparison of not just the initial capital expenditures, but the ongoing maintenance and operations costs as well. Through research and case studies, members seek to advance understanding of lifecycle cost analysis (LCCA) and highlight innovative programs that produce the highest value for infrastructure investments.