In March of 2021, the Government of Canada put out a request for engagement regarding their plans to begin the first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment. The resulting document, Building Pathways to 2050: Moving Forward on the National Infrastructure Assessment, was released on July 29th, 2021 and outlined some key issues and introduced intriguing plans that could light a fire beneath future infrastructure projects.
Likely the most significant outcome of this report is the plan to establish an independent and non-partisan advisory committee that is responsible for conducting National Infrastructure Assessment and making updates on a periodic basis. This committee will also provide advice on the challenges Canadian infrastructure owners face and actively engage with previously underrepresented groups such as indigenous groups and remote communities. Great news!
We are excited to see how this work will connect with the efforts and progress made through the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) and Statistics Canada Core Infrastructure Survey.
There was also a direct shout-out to asset management included in the report, citing that those who were engaged strongly, advocated for the strategic value of strengthening asset management practices. Talk of establishing long-term funding plans and increasing funding sources for projects was also a key recommendation and a very welcome one at that.
The federal government in Canada has been a serious supporter of improving asset management practices and it is great to see that continue.
“In order to get the most bang for their buck, communities need the right training and tools to strategically plan, build, and maintain their infrastructure. The Government of Canada is working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to help municipalities make informed investment decisions that improve quality of life, grow the local economy and create jobs, and build more resilient and sustainable communities.”— The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities (source: FCM)
All in all, this report indicates big things for Canadian communities. Continuing to gain an increased understanding of the state of our infrastructure along with the cost to maintain it – a concept we explain in icInfrastructure’s Spending Money to Stand Still video – both at a local and national level. Putting greater focus on green projects commits to a more environmentally sustainable future for the next generation. And, of course, the acknowledgement of the importance of asset management will drive more communities to develop plans and processes to more efficiently and effectively deliver services to Canadians.
Image from Government of Canada’s National Infrastructure Assessment Website