The Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, released their recommendations on infrastructure spending entitled “The Infrastructure that Matters Most: The Need for Investment in Canada’s Trade Infrastructure” with a focus on spending to improve Canada’s global competitiveness and economic well-being. The full report is attached and can also be found at Investments in Trade Infrastructure.
Specifically, the recommendations for the federal government are:
- Make Trade Infrastructure an Equal Priority in the $120-billion Federal Infrastructure Plan
To improve Canada’s global economic competitiveness, the government should make trade-enhancing infrastructure investments an equal priority in the federal plan, commensurate with the funding allocated to the new social, transit and green infrastructure categories.
- Make Trade Infrastructure Investment Decisions Using Merit-based Criteria.
The federal government should ensure new trade infrastructure projects are selected on the basis of national objectives according to merit-based criteria. A merit-based approach ensures critical investments are not held captive to local or regional interests or undermined by inadequate financial support.
- Renew the Federal Commitment to Canada’s Trade Corridors
A renewed program focusing on trade corridors that recognizes that Canada must improve the quality, speed, and cost effectiveness of its trade networks can usher in a new era of Canadian competitiveness.
- Partner with Industry to Develop a National Trade Infrastructure Committee
The federal government should establish a National Trade Infrastructure Committee of public sector and industry experts as an institutional mechanism to guide long-term national trade infrastructure priorities.
- Consider the Proposed Federal Infrastructure Bank to Enhance Trade Infrastructure Investment
As the government develops its promised infrastructure bank, there is an opportunity to use this new tool to provide more than just low-cost financing for municipal infrastructure projects. The government should consult with investors to determine whether the bank should be used to generate more public-private investments in trade-enabling infrastructure.
Kerry Colborne, Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce said “the government has a unique opportunity to reshape Canada’s economic future by making trade infrastructure a priority in its national infrastructure plan. For a plan that will set the course for the next decade of infrastructure investment across the country, making trade infrastructure a priority will send an important signal to global customers, Canada’s businesses and its workers. It will be a message that Canada is committed to improving its international trade competitiveness to generate more wealth and employment for its citizens.”
Airports, highways, June 2016, Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Rail Roads, Trade Infrastructure