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Living Green Infrastructure Coming of Age

Posted on August 7, 2015
Written by Steven W. Peck
In 2014, at the urging of the GIOC and the environmental commissioner, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing amended its Provincial Policy Statements to include a definition of living green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is now defined as “natural and human-made elements that provide ecological and hydrological functions and processes. Green infrastructure can include components such as natural heritage features and systems, parklands, stormwater management systems, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces [...]

WeirFoulds’ Municipal Infrastructure Dialogue

Posted on May 28, 2015
Written by Dan Ferguson, Brad McLellan, and Lyn Townsend
On May 12, 2015, WeirFoulds’ Infrastructure and Public Projects Practice Group held a Municipal Infrastructure Dialogue at Copper Creek Golf Course in Kleinburg, Ontario. The program brought together participants from both the public sector and the private sector to discuss how best to deliver municipal infrastructure projects at a time of critical need for development and repair—but with limited sources of funding and financing. Following the event, WeirFoulds partners Dan Ferguson, Brad McLellan, and Lyn Townsend summarized their main takeaway [...]

We Need a National Infrastructure Partnership

Posted on May 11, 2015
Written by Kathleen Wynne
I often speak about building Ontario up. When I say this, I mean it both literally and figuratively. Investments in infrastructure are critical to the success of Ontario and Canada. Yet the 2014-’15 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranked Canada’s infrastructure 19th in the world, down from 12th in 2006-’07. As we consider Canada’s infrastructure situation, we should take a moment to reflect on our country’s history of building itself up. Half a century ago, our country’s leaders—Lester Pearson in Ottawa, Jean Lesage [...]

Remedying ‘Years of Liberal Inaction’

Posted on May 1, 2015
Written by Denis Lebel
Investments in modern and efficient public infrastructure across Canada create jobs, promote economic growth, and provide a high quality of life for all Canadians and their families. I was a mayor when Paul Martin was prime minister, and I remember the ad hoc, unpredictable, and insufficient nature of that government’s so-called infrastructure programs. Only our government can be trusted to remedy the years of Liberal inaction when it comes to investing in Canada’s public infrastructure. In fact, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper [...]

Conservative ‘Scheme’ Trumping Municipal Infrastructure

Posted on May 1, 2015
Written by Ralph Goodale
Except for the Harper government, there seems to be complete consensus about the leading importance of municipal and other infrastructure in building a more prosperous Canadian economy. Globally, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development are all promoting it. So are the provincial premiers, the Bank of Canada, the parliamentary budget officer, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, along with major think tanks like the C.D. Howe Institute, the Conference Board, and [...]

Take Politics out of Transit Planning

Posted on April 21, 2015
Written by Andy Manahan
Last year, the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario commissioned a four-part video series that has had an impact on conversations around the GTA, focusing on the need to minimize political interference in transit planning. Once a viable plan has been arrived at through evidence-based decision-making, however, the videos emphasize the need to maximize political support for the approved plans. Prime examples of political interference cited in the videos include: former premier Mike Harris’s cancellation of the just under construction [...]

CPCI Commits to Sustainable Infrastructure

Posted on April 2, 2015
Written by Brian Hall
The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) has continued its commitment to sustainable infrastructure through its flagship programs and focus on research and development. Plant Certification Program CPCI’s Quality Assurance Council (QAC) continues to add value to the CPCI Precast Concrete Plant Certification Program, originally launched in 2007. In 2014, the QAC released its sixth version (V1.6) of the program requirements and also issued a number of important advisories to CPCI member plants that are reflected in the annually updated [...]

Ontario Needs Smart Water Infrastructure Investments

Posted on March 26, 2015
Written by Brent Wootton
Last week, provincial ministers Jeff Leal and Brad Duguid announced that the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) has approved 78 projects under application-based funding. Water infrastructure projects accounted for nearly $60 million of these funds, and the investment is welcome. Amid crumbling assets and growing populations, many municipalities are currently facing a shortage of funds. This shot in the arm for rural communities is making a significant difference, but Ontario’s municipalities are realizing they must do more with less. They [...]

De-Risking the Future

Posted on February 17, 2015
Written by Todd Latham
As any intelligent person on the planet now understands, we are experiencing climate change. The buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the past century (especially recent decades) has caused the Earth to warm. As the Earth warms, ocean waters expand and ice melts, raising sea levels. The cycle of rainfall and evaporation accelerates, leading to more severe droughts and more severe precipitation. Heat waves, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons are all more frequent and intense. The “100-year storm” insurance adjusters referenced in their policies [...]

Not Understanding Context Impedes Benefits of District Energy

Posted on February 9, 2015
Written by Alex Hay
You will, I’m sure, have noticed a definite upswing in the number of people talking about adaptation to climate change and how one scheme or other is the solution. While all too often these are enthusiastic gatherings of the faithful, it does occasionally spur a call to action and a priority analysis of a single operation or utility, typically electrical power. Few of these initiatives have been genuinely effective or cost efficient. Consequently, the recommendations arising from these assessments fail to inspire real action or much needed cooperation [...]
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