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CWF: Western Canadian cities face massive infrastructure deficit

CALGARY, Alta. -- Canada West Foundation (CWF) is releasing a report tomorrow which paints a bleak picture about th...

CALGARY, Alta. — Canada West Foundation (CWF) is releasing a report tomorrow which paints a bleak picture about the state of infrastructure in Western Canada’s six major cities.

CWF has spent three years working on the report, which the Calgary Herald says outlines the shortcomings of infrastructure in the west. The report, entitled A Capital Question, Infrastructure in Western Canada’s Big Six was written by senior policy analyst Casey Vander Ploeg.

The Herald has reported that the report concludes Western Canada’s six major cities carry an infrastructure deficit that will total at least $564 million this year.

“The numbers are big, no matter how you work it,” Roger Gibbins, chief executive of CWF told the Herald. “They never get small. I think there is a real risk that we may be paralysed rather than motivated by the size of the problem. It’s not yet at the stage where we are yelling, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling,’ but it is something we ignore at our peril.”

It’s expected the report will prompt Western cities to appeal for more tax revenue from the feds and provinces.

“There is no magic bullet or easy solution other than a recognition by two levels of government that they can no longer continue to suck money out of the cities,” Calgary Mayor, Dave Bronconnier told the Herald.
“We just can’t continue this way. We need to have some true revenue sharing agreements with the federal and provincial governments. They have got to put that on the table and get back to providing a more realistic basis to funding Canadian cities. You can’t have cities in decay and in debt while two other forms of government have multibillion-dollar surpluses. That’s not way to govern a province.”

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