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CPPIB goes for IT

Posted on March 31, 2009
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country's second-biggest public pension manager, is buying Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group for US$940 million. Canada Pension is looking to acquire infrastructure assets. This purchase will add television and radio-transmission towers to its portfolio. "Current economic conditions provide a unique set of opportunities for investors with liquidity and a long investment horizon like the CPP Investment Board," said Mark Wiseman, Senior Vice-President, Private Investments for the CPP Investment Board [...]

Feds Issue Post-Budget Progress Report

Posted on March 27, 2009
The federal government has made a lot of progress since releasing Budget09--according to, well, the federal government. Official releases say close to $1.5 billion in joint funding for 480 projects in smaller communities has been announced in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario. That includes up to $250 million for GO Transit in Ontario, $50 million in the HELP Clean Water (Huron Elgin London Project) in London, Ontario, $2.6 million for work on the Nicomekl Bridge in B.C., $7.86 million [...]

Budget09 for Ontario: No Surprises

Posted on March 26, 2009
What happened to the good old days where we would report on the budget after it was announced? Minister Dwight Duncan just announced a budget with no surprises. As expected, Budget09 forecasts deficits of $3.9 billion in 2008-09 and $14.1 billion in 2009-10.  It lays out a plan to balance the budget by 2015-16 with the same "prudent management" that eliminated the $5.5 billion deficit that the government inherited in 2003. The McGuinty government will spend $32.5 billion oninfrastructure projects over the next two years; $390 million  to develop [...]

Infrastructure Spending in ON Budget

Posted on March 24, 2009
Ontario's government is about to make budget announcements and, like Quebec's budget, infrastructure will play a major role.  Reuters reported on Monday that Ontario will spend $32.5 billion in provincial and federal funds over the next two years on building roads, schools and public transit across the province, creating more than 300,000 jobs. The province said it will spend $27.5 billion over the next two years, while the feds will contribute $5 billion to the infrastructure program. "We're making this investment in infrastructure because it creates [...]

Companies Merge

Posted on March 24, 2009
British-based engineering giant Amec is buying small Ontario firm Philips Engineering Ltd. Amec says the takeover will help them "provide a complete civil engineering consultancy service to public and private sector clients in Eastern Canada." Philips specializes in highway and municipal engineering, water resources, structural projects and land development, which should help Amec capitalize on federal and provincial stimulus funding for infrastructure system upgrades, maintenance and asset management in Ontario. Amec's annual revenue is worth CAD4.6 [...]

Calls for Transportation Funding, Planning

Posted on March 23, 2009
Back in May 2005, Canada's Western First Ministers committed to submitting a list of recommendations for consideration by all First Ministers about upgrading Canada's transportation infrastructure. British Columbia's government released a report putting highway upgrades at the top of a list of funding concerns for transportation infrastructure. With Canada's provincial and territorial First Ministers scheduled to meet in Banff for the annual Council of the Federation meeting, the Canadian Construction Association today reminded all Premiers about their [...]

Prentice Promises Fewer EAs

Posted on March 18, 2009
The day before delivering the opening address at Americana in Montreal, Environment Minister Jim Prentice told a Calgary business audience that federal infrastructure dollars will flow more easily now that the environmental assessment (EA) process has been simplified. On Tuesday at Americana, he told reporters, "It is the intent of the new regulations to eliminate any overlap ." Once the new regulations come into effect, there should be fewer federal assessments and less duplication with provincial and municipal reviews for federally funded public [...]

LEED: Coming to a House Near You?

Posted on March 4, 2009
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has finally launched its much-anticipated LEED for Homes rating system. The question is, will homeowners be as LEED-happy as condo developers? As part of its introduction of the new LEED Canada for Homes rating system, the CaGBC, along with the builders and providers behind the projects, hosted tours of two new homes that are candidates for LEED certification. In Toronto, BILD, the Building Industry and Land Development Association, gave a tour of its Archetype Sustainable House at the Kortright Centre's Living [...]

New Leaders for NRTSI

Posted on February 26, 2009
After leading the transition team that helped create of the National Round Table on Sustainable Infrastructure (NRTSI), Engineers Canada is passing the torch to new co-chairs Reg Andres, P.Eng., Canadian Society of Civil Engineering (CSCE), and Ric Robertshaw, P.Eng., Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA). The NRTSI aims to be a go-to resource on infrastructure, capable of advising stakeholders and filling the information gap to help managers make good, sound decisions about infrastructure, and optimize their investment strategies. Consisting of [...]

Canada's Environment Ministers Agree on Clean Water

Posted on February 20, 2009
Nova Scotia has joined the federal government and other provinces and territories in endorsing a Canada-wide strategy for managing municipal wastewater effluent. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the Council of Canadian Ministers of Environment (CCME) in Whitehorse, Yukon this week. The strategy sets out a framework to be followed by all participating jurisdictions to manage discharges from more than 3,500 wastewater facilities in Canada, many of which need repair and upgrading. The plan's 68 actions include a commitment that Nova Scotia participate [...]
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