Affected infrastructure in British Columbia and other states highlighted by the floods in British Columbia


Road devastation and farmland flooding in British Columbia have revealed dire infrastructure needs. Policy experts say other states are also facing as existing infrastructure is outdated and new and needed infrastructure remains unbuilt.

A moist fall covered with torrential rain caused a landslide and washed away eight highways BC. Some have been reopened for general travel, while others have been reopened for mandatory travel.

Floods are particularly difficult for the Abbotsford region and are even more frustrating for city officials, given that they have been begging higher levels of the government for years to upgrade the city’s inadequate embankments.

In 2015, engineers hired by the state considered the condition of the 17-kilometer Sumas embankment “unacceptable.” “Overflow is expected during the flooding of the Nuuksak River.” They wrote. “The shape of the embankment is substandard and raises concerns.”

In 2019, engineers told Abbotsford that it would cost an estimated $ 446 million to perform the necessary reconstruction of the embankment system. At that time, Mayor Henry Brown sought decisive action and a higher level of government support, as it cost twice as much as the city’s annual budget. At a press conference on November 19, Brown reaffirmed his belief in the project.

“Don’t say this, my staff gets angry with me, but I have to repair its entire structure, its entire embankment to a higher standard-it must be repaired and rebuilt. You can see what doesn’t happen, “he said.

David Wraith, vice president of the Frontier Public Policy Center, said the devastation of the entire state was “extremely astounding”, as was the area around Abbotsford’s home.

“It’s obviously a tragic tragedy. It’s really difficult,” Ray told The Epoch Times. “Many people have had a direct impact on the farm. It’s a pretty sparse situation right now.”

Wraith, a former mayor of Waterloo, Ontario, said the municipality is seeking higher levels of government support for infrastructure “a constant message … almost like a broken record.”

“This isn’t all that surprising,” he said.

“It’s well known that British Columbia and Canada have a lot of infrastructure that needs to be upgraded, and politicians have consistently ignored or denied this reality.”

Unimplemented solution

Published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) four years ago Report Canada’s infrastructure needs for the Can Infra Summit of public and private infrastructure stakeholders. We have determined that Canada’s infrastructure investment is “clearly average” and lags behind most other OECD countries from the mid-1970s to 2005. Since then, Canada has caught up with an estimated $ 110 billion to $ 270 billion in infrastructure shortages.

A key issue identified by BCG was that the municipality paid for the construction of half of Canada’s infrastructure, even though it received only 13% of all government tax revenues. In contrast, the federal government collects 37% of tax revenues, but covers only 8% of infrastructure construction costs.

As a result of this mismatch, local projects were concentrated and there was a shortage of projects in the countries that drive the economy, BCG said. As a result, Canada’s large pension fund, which invests in infrastructure, sends 85% of its money abroad.

Marco Navarro Jenny, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wholetain Institute, believes that Canada has failed not only in its aggressive approach, but also in its maintenance.

“We’re lagging behind in building what we need for the future, and what we have is pretty old,” Navarro Jenny said in an interview.

“Until about five years ago, most of Quebec’s highways, elevated roads, underpasses, and tunnels had collapsed. Literally, lumps had fallen from these things, killing people on the road.”

In March, the Canadian Automobile Association gave 51% of Quebec roads a fail rating. Navarro-Génie said exorbitant costs and short-term thinking prevented the government from giving justification to infrastructure.

“No one wants to deal with these near-generational problems because of the sheer amount of money,” he said.

“Politicians only answer concerns about reelection in the next election cycle. [so] We face big problems. “

Navarro-Génie suggested that government-independent inter-company principles could help Canada re-prioritize infrastructure. BCG recommends an example of Australian infrastructure. Its independent board of directors and CEO rank significant investments nationwide based on a set of predefined criteria and continually update ongoing projects up to 10 years into the future. Key project approval bodies help streamline the regulatory process.

At the time, Treasury Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at the 2017 CanInfra Summit, but the Liberal Party government quickly strengthened regulation rather than rationalized it.

Bill C-69, which came into force in August 2019, will allow project proponents to adequately address “indigenous knowledge provided with respect to a given project” and “gender and the intersection of gender with other identity factors”. I am requesting that. The law was called the “Pipeline Ban Act” by Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny and was shared by Navarro Jenny.

“Regulations on megaprojects have skyrocketed. The federal government has introduced all these cross-assessments in addition to all these regulations, including environmental, energy and labor. No one wants to deal with it,” he said. Said.

Needs “basic policy leadership”

In the case of British Columbia floods, some politicians have blamed carbon emissions. However, Ray states that the problem goes back to a mistake in government priorities.

“Now you have the usual suspects and everything is clear.” Oh, this is due to extreme weather and climate change. “No, this is [governments’] Irresponsible investment in infrastructure designed and needed to protect people as well as enable our economy to function-that’s the story, “he said.

“The real problem is one of the basic policy leadership at the state federal level …. We have this in our history in the form of deficits and heavy debt until the future of the economy is at stake. I’ve never spent more money. The real question is where the money goes. Instead of investing in the infrastructure we need, we’re diverted to the political trends of the time. “

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.