Infrastructure seems to be a hot topic for good discussion. And that has been the case for a long time. I remember having a long discussion at the first Ministerial Conference in the 1980s. For people like me who like to write about public policy, it’s a great feed.
Infrastructure has been defined differently these days. In the United States, great flexibility is sought by Democrats who even consider things like day care as valuable candidates.
According to the definition of the Oxford Dictionary, “basic physical and organizational structures and equipment (buildings, roads, power supplies, etc.) necessary for the operation of society and businesses”.
I think most people are still in favor of this definition, but now we can add some technology without much discussion.
Canada has used a variety of methods to improve its physical infrastructure over the years. In the 1980s, the federal government was involved in establishing a regional economic expansion bureau, with many federal states targeting all kinds of “activities” after early attempts to directly invade state jurisdiction. The state agreement continued. Agreements vary from state to state, different types of cost-sharing agreements, and poorer states pay more for the federal government.
This activity was subsequently transformed into seven economic institutions that provided one to Canada’s Atlantic Coast, Quebec, Northern Ontario, Southern Ontario, Prairie, British Columbia, and finally three regions. As such, this change is more economical in itself and supports the business, rather than the basic physical infrastructure. And there are more federal agencies. On top of that, the economic development departments of states and municipalities can be said to have no problems with many infrastructures, including government agencies and bureaucrats.
Whether all this government activity has resulted in better infrastructure is a relevant question.
However, core infrastructure needs have lost focus and need to be more focused here in order for Canada to become more internationally competitive. For example, last year I was depressed. With the creation of the Infrastructure Bank, large-scale projects have become a federal priority. Its success is still doubtful. I’ve been involved in many projects, but the results are small.
Canada’s Infrastructure Report Card was created in 2019 to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, and some of its findings are awkward. For example, the report states:
“There are Canadian roads in good condition to build roads for almost half of the month …. One-third of recreational or cultural facilities will require investment over the next decade. This is relevant. And does not contain any programmatic or functional flaws that may be required to enhance its use. “
For public transport: “More than 30% of trucks will need to invest in the next 10 years.”
The latest form of infrastructure is across the technology arena.
Complicating the country’s situation, like its competitors, is its inability to adapt to new technologies and the so-called new economy. In the 2020 Global Competitiveness Report, Canada is not ranked in the top 10 in terms of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) adoption, flexible work arrangements, digital skills, or digital legal frameworks. Estonia is ranked in the top 10 in these three areas.
Moreover, although not a specific issue, business ease is important for infrastructure to promote a more competitive environment. The 2019 World Bank report ranked Canada 23rd for ease of business. The United States was sixth.
Canada must increase its pace in order for our country to compete over the next few decades. Many countries that have fallen behind Canada are now as competitive or more competitive as we are.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.