A 7,000-kilometre northern corridor in search of shared vision – by Claude Montmarquette and Andrei Sulzenko (Globe and Mail – May 27, 2016)


Canada’s history is full of examples of large-scale transportation infrastructure projects that have motivated growth and helped define a shared vision for the country. The Canadian Pacific Railway, the Trans-Canada Highway and the St. Lawrence Seaway are prime examples.

But the Canada of 2016 does not have such grand plans for infrastructure that may be vital to supporting economic and social development in this country. Aside from some private-sector proposals (mainly pipelines), there are precious few examples of transportation infrastructure developments outside our major urban centres.

The best way to address this lack of vision may well be through a bold approach being examined by researchers at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and CIRANO, a Quebec-based economic research organization. We have just released a study on the potential for a major transportation right-of-way through Canada’s North and near North, connecting resource-rich areas with tidewater access on all three coasts.

This northern corridor would be a 21st-century version of the grand transportation infrastructure projects of the 19th and 20th centuries that promoted Canada’s economic, social and political development.

The northern corridor right-of-way would be approximately 7,000 kilometres long, defined by governments in concert with indigenous groups and other stakeholders. The agreed right-of-way and associated conditions would facilitate subsequent long-term private and public investment in transportation infrastructure within the corridor, including roads and rail lines, pipelines, communications and transmission lines and port facilities.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/a-7000-kilometre-northern-corridor-in-search-of-shared-vision/article30177919/