Wynne Stresses on Federation to Stop Neglecting Infrastructure

Addressing a special interprovincial summit on Wednesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne stated that infrastructure in Canada is in dire straits as “public infrastructure‎ in Canada has been neglected by all levels of government for too long.” Wynne alleged that “I would argue that now — time is up,” stressing that progress can only be made when the provinces and the federal governments work together.

‎Wynne highlighted that Ontario is asking Ottawa “to do its part” by amplifying its annual investment in infrastructure to 2 per cent of GDP. She alleged that “this is not about asking the federal government for something that isn’t going to benefit them.” Wynne revealed that the province is sending $130 billion over 10 years on infrastructure compared while the federal government will only spent $70 billion over the next decade on the whole country. The premier highlighted that investment in infrastructure began to decline in the 1970s “when Canada pulled back from a period of postwar infrastructure investment,” pointing out that “this mistake wasn’t fully apparent until the 1990s. That’s when the crack could no longer be hidden.”

Addressing all convened premiers, provincial ministers and municipal and private sector representatives, Wynne alleged that according to a Statistics Canada report, 10 per cent of private sector productivity gains between 1962 and 2006 were due to investment in infrastructure. Additionally, she referred to another StatsCan report to conclude that every dollar invested in public infrastructure lowers business costs by 11 cents and reduces manufacturing costs by 27 cents on average.

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