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A Conservative Majority: Better Long-Term Planning?

Posted on May 4, 2011
In a release yesterday, David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, said, "Now that enjoys a strong majority and will no longer have to govern with the threat of being brought down on a day-to-day basis, we are looking forward to enhanced dialogue and consultation with the government on policies and rules impacting our industry." Many industry associations are looking at a majority government--any majority government--as a chance to make long-term plans for the country. Of course, which course the "Harper government" will take remains to be [...]

FCM Campaigns for National Transportation Strategy

Posted on April 18, 2011
Using gridlock and lengthening commute times as a springboard, big city mayors are asking the federal parties to make a national transportation strategy an election issue. FCM is pushing the cause with a website devote solely to the campaign with a "live" ticker showing how much time and money is being wasted by gridlock. The Toronto Board of Trade (TBOT), which has been vocal about its support for a national transportation strategy, is supporting the cause. What do FCM, TBOT, and other organizations want out of the feds? Support for transit (both in [...]

Canada Needs to Spend $293-billion on Electricity Infrastructure

Posted on April 11, 2011
Canadians have come to expect affordable and reliable electricity. But Pierre Guimond, president and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) said in a release last week, “We must start investing now in the electricity infrastructure that will ensure Canada retains a strong economy in the twenty-first century, as we were in the twentieth.” According to a Conference Board of Canada analysis funded by the CEA, Canada’s electricity sector will require more than $15 billion in investment annually over the next 20 years to replace or refurbish [...]

Budget 2011: Light on Details

Posted on March 23, 2011
In today's budget the federal government committed to working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), provinces, territories and other stakeholders to develop a long-term plan for public infrastructure that extends beyond the current Building Canada Plan, which ends in 2014. Details beyond a promise to work with lower-tier governments on a long-term plan are scarce. The real focus of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s speech was reducing the deficit; growing jobs; lowering taxes. Most references to infrastructure renewal were to tout investments [...]

New Industrial Building Tackles The 2030 Challenge

Posted on February 23, 2011
The CANMET Materials Testing Laboratory at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario opened today. Natural Resources Canada’s (NRC’s) new metals research facility is targeting LEED-Platinum certification—something its designers believe more industrial spaces should do. “It is still the exception that industrial facilities are adopting a rigorous commitment to sustainable design and in this sense, CANMET is a cutting-edge model of what is possible,” said Donald Schmitt, principal with Diamond and Schmitt Architects. This football-field [...]

Build While It's Cheap--If You Can Find the Workers

Posted on February 17, 2011
Looking to kick off a construction project? According to Vancouver's BTY Group, better now than later. A new report on construction costs across Canada shows that 2011 is the year to get solid value before pressure begins to push construction costs up again in 2012. Joe Rekab, managing partner at BTY Group, says, "In 2011 we expect balance—investments in roads, bridges, and public buildings will push the market up, while residential construction will continue to stay cool and create downward pressure." BTY annually reviews cost drivers in the construction [...]

Pollution Probe: Canadians Don't Know Jack about Energy

Posted on February 11, 2011
Canadians don't know jack about energy. This according to a recent RBC poll testing 4,000 Canadians' knowledge about energy. National non-profit, Pollution Probe, has released what it's hoping will serve as an educational resource for Canadians. The Primer on Energy Systems in Canada is an overview of the resources, challenges and opportunities related to energy in Canada. According to Pollution Probe, it offers a balanced look at energy systems in Canada, including traditional, alternative and renewable energy sources and also provides a framework for [...]

Quebec P3 Wins International PFI Award

Posted on February 2, 2011
Thomson Reuters awarded its 2010 PFI Award for public-private partnership (P3) Deal of the Year (Americas) to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Groupe immobilier santé McGill, and Infrastructure Québec for the financing of the new MUHC Glen Campus project. The prize was awarded at the PFI Awards Dinner held on January 26 in London, United Kingdom. This is the largest greenfield hospital project in Canada and the top P3 project on ReNew Canada’s Top 100 report (look for more details about financing on the Top 100 projects in our whitepaper [...]

New Agency Formed to Promote and Rate Sustainable Infrastructure

Posted on February 2, 2011
A new U.S. organization has been formed to develop and administer a sustainability rating system for North American infrastructure. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is an independent non-profit organization was founded by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The ISI’s rating system, which will be launched in summer 2011, is being designed to identify the benefits (environmental, economic, and social) of sustainable practice [...]

Douglas: Build While Costs Are Still Low

Posted on January 31, 2011
Paul Douglas the CEO of construction company PCL, told the Edmonton Journal that Alberta needs to get started on infrastructure projects sooner rather then later. A recent deficit has apparently prompted politicians in Alberta to try and save money through cutbacks on major projects, in an attempt to pay down the deficit and, in theory, have more money to spend later. Douglas has a differing opinion on this issue. He sees the current climate in Alberta as being the perfect time to get major projects off the ground, and finished, with significant savings down [...]
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