The success of Canadian business depends on modern and efficient infrastructure

The success of Canadian business depends on modern and efficient infrastructure 
OTTAWA, Dec. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - One of the most critical challenges facing 
Canada is invisible. It's the steady deterioration of the public 
infrastructure - roads, water mains, sewers, bridges - that allow people to do 
business and live well. Confronting the major costs facing governments at 
all levels will test the foresight and cooperation of political leaders and 
officials. 
"Nobody cuts a ribbon when a new sewer pipe is installed. It's just not a 
dramatic moment," said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian 
Chamber of Commerce. "But, thousands of Canadians idling in their cars because 
of traffic congestion, or bridge delays, can tell us what investments in 
infrastructure can mean in quality of life and productivity." 
In a report released today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce argues that 
Canada needs a long-term, predictable, flexible and strategic infrastructure 
investment strategy. This strategy must include targeted investments in 
Canada's major economic hubs, gateways and public transit systems. 
There is an indisputable strong link between investment in the core public 
infrastructure of roads, transit and utilities and productivity performance in 
all sectors of the Canadian economy. Equally clear are the consequences of 
underinvestment. 
"The success and competitiveness of Canadian business depends on modern and 
efficient infrastructure," said Beatty. "Fortunately, we are starting to see 
renewed attention to the vital importance of our core public infrastructure. 
The challenge the nation faces now is to ensure current infrastructure 
investment levels are not viewed as a one-off contribution to recession 
fighting but rather as the start of a new sustained level of investment." 
For the past two years, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has listed inadequate 
investment in our public infrastructure as one of the top 10 barriers to 
Canadian competitiveness. Bringing infrastructure in Canada back to the level 
needed to support prosperity will not be easy. It will require an ongoing 
commitment by all levels of government and active engagement with private 
sector stakeholders. We have to change the dialogue from "catch-up" 
investments or "economic recovery" to investing in our competitiveness as a 
country. 
"A strategic vision, along with a public dialogue that explains the importance 
of effective infrastructure to economic growth, will set the stage for public 
acceptance of the need for these higher levels of investment," concluded 
Beatty. 
Our partners agree: 
"The chronic under-investment in Canada's water systems, roads and 
transportation systems, electrical grid and other public infrastructure has 
dire repercussions for our quality of life, our economy and our national 
competitiveness," said Michael Bernstein, President and Chief Executive 
Officer, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation. "Canada urgently needs a 
long-term infrastructure investment strategy to prevent further decay and to 
prioritize and plan for the future. This report by the Canadian Chamber of 
Commerce presents concrete steps to improve how we manage, fund and deliver 
the critical infrastructure Canadians depend on." 
"The need to rebuild and properly maintain our critical public infrastructure 
is not an option." said Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian 
Construction Association, "It is an absolute necessity if Canada wants to 
ensure its future economic prosperity, its competitive standing in an 
increasingly competitive global marketplace, and to retain its admired quality 
of life. CCA supports many of the recommendations made in this report, and we 
look forward to working with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and other 
likeminded stakeholders to ensure that adequate and sustained infrastructure 
funding is a key public policy priority for all levels of government in 
Canada." 
"As the world's only manufacturer of planes and train focused on creating the 
most advanced mobility solutions, we see a clear linkage between public 
infrastructure and productivity," says Pierre Pyun, Vice-President of 
Government Affairs for Bombardier Inc. "Modern and efficient infrastructure is 
critical to economic competitiveness, sustainability and quality of life. We 
therefore support the recommendations offered by the Canadian Chamber of 
Commerce in its recently published report, The Foundation of a Competitive 
Canada: The Need for Strategic Infrastructure Investment, for it offers a 
compelling roadmap for the first steps towards effective infrastructure 
investment in Canada." 
"All levels of government have a responsibility to support long-term 
investments in public infrastructure," says Kim Allen, FEC, P.Eng., Chief 
Executive Officer of Engineers Canada. "Owners must be encouraged to build and 
maintain infrastructure in ways that enable them to withstand whatever 
challenges users, the climate or time can throw at them." 
"Marine pilots conduct commercial vessels in and out of the country's ports 
and on the waters vital to Canadian shipping. We have a first hand 
appreciation of the key role that public infrastructure plays in facilitating 
growth and we believe that sustained investment is essential to maintain a 
safe marine transportation system and a competitive economy. We appreciate the 
leadership of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on this issue and welcome its 
initiative to bring in-depth focus to it" said Simon Pelletier, President of 
the Canadian Marine Pilots' Association. 
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and 
the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to 
the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a 
network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 
some 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all 
regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on 
Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
 

SOURCE  Canadian Chamber of Commerce 
Émilie S. Potvin Director, Public Affairs & Media Relations Office: 
613.238.4000 (231) Cell.: 613.797.1860 epotvin@chamber.ca 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2013/18/c5467.html 
CO: Canadian Chamber of Commerce
ST: Ontario
NI: ECOSURV  
-0- Dec/18/2013 15:00 GMT
 
 
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