The Constant Gardiner – Infrastructure in Toronto & Canada – March 1st, 2017

Good morning subscribers! This week, the rubber hits the gridlocked, pothole ridden road as we turn our attention to infrastructure policy.
Highlights from this week’s brief include:

  • New PPGR articles examining Toronto’s cancelled road toll plan (RIP) and Canada’s infrastructure deficit;
  • A Parliamentary Budget Office report on the federal government’s infrastructure investment plan;
  • A report from the Senate of Canada (released yesterday!) criticizing that very plan
  • The Torontist’s take on urban design for Canada’s long cold winters
This edition of the brief was prepared by Caleb Holden and Leah Mulholland.

Bridges to Nowhere?

  • Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has withdrawn her support for road tolls in the City, drawing the ire of Mayor John Tory (among others). But was road pricing the cure to Toronto’s fiscal ailments in the first place? It might not be that simple. [Jonathan Kates / PPGR]
  • If you have a free second (or hour), check out Canada’s New Infrastructure Plan, released in February by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO). It outlines the plan’s objectives, planned outcomes, and how spending will be tracked. The Globe’s take is here, too. [PBO / Government of Canada] [Bill Curry / The Globe and Mail]
  • Once you’re up to date on the Infrastructure Plan, this Senate Committee on National Finance report criticizing it is hot off the presses! Without a developed strategic plan, the report argues it will be difficult for Parliamentarians to provide effective oversight of these infrastructure investments. The report concludes with six recommendations for moving forward. [Hon. Larry W. Smith / Senate of Canada]
  • Remember the days when only Jane Jacobs could prevent Toronto expressway development? Ok, neither do we… But today, the City does a fine job of delaying construction and maintenance of infrastructure all on its own. But, it’s not just Toronto: Canada has an infrastructure deficit, and the federal government has promised billions in new investments. [ Rohan Balram / PPGR]
  • The City of Edmonton wants city design to promote well-being for its residents all year round – even through its notoriously chilly winters. What can Toronto learn from their plan? And what’s a “white of way?” This weekend’s forecast is calling for below zero weather in Toronto, so add this article to your reading list! [Emily Macrae / Torontoist]
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