Inadequate infrastructure hurting national competitiveness – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 24, 2017)

Chamber report identifies key infrastructure challenges facing business

A new report released by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said much work needs to be done to move traffic in major cities, expand broadband networks, improve trade corridors to the U.S., lay down new pipelines, and unlock the North’s potential.

The report’s name – ‘Stuck in Traffic for 10,000 Years: Canadian Problems that Infrastructure Investment Can Solve’ – comes from the estimated amount of the time commuters in big cities spend stuck in traffic every year because of road congestion. The report has corporate sponsors including Telus, Rogers, Ontario Power Generation, Suncor, and various B.C. port authorities and container shippers.

The chamber said the lack of proper infrastructure is wasting Canadians’ time and leading to lost business opportunities. The report identifies seven infrastructure challenges that government must target to keep Canada moving and competitive.

– Traffic congestion in major cities

– Facilitating trade along the Asia-Pacific Gateway and corridor

– Improving digital access and infrastructure

– Maximizing potential in Canada’s North

– Enhancing the Ontario-Quebec trade corridor

– Getting Canadian oil and gas to markets

– Green electrification and transmission

For Canada’s Far North, the Canadian chamber is pushing for Ottawa to spend more than the $2 billion over 11 years already committed for rural and Northern infrastructure as part of the fed’s larger $180-billion infrastructure plan.

The chamber said federal spending should targeted on Northern projects that produce “the greatest economic and social impacts across the entire region,” rather than funding “one-off” individual projects.

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