Canada is struggling to complete large natural resources projects, says C.D. Howe report – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 4, 2024)

Report says governments need to make timely permit approvals, respect division of powers, to encourage investment

Canada’s permitting delays and regulatory uncertainty is a cooler when it comes to attracting investment in major infrastructure projects.

“Canada’s current regulatory permitting system is slow, subject to seemingly random process and policy changes and deters potential investors,” summarized a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute entitled, “Smoothing the Path: How Canada Can Make Faster Major Project Decisions,” co-authored by Charles DeLand and Brad Gilmour.

The paper indicates this country is lagging behind to complete large infrastructure projects cheaply and quickly because of an ambiguous and random regulatory approvals regime that casts doubt for potential investors. It’s driving up costs for investors and preventing major projects from getting built.

Roads, pipelines, hydroelectric dams, power lines, natural resources and manufacturing projects are complex, expensive and sometimes contentious projects. Creating an uncertain regulatory process at Ottawa hasn’t helped matters and it’s stymied business investment for years. As a result, productivity growth in Canada has suffered, the report said.

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