Spending Smarter on Infrastructure - June 2013

Federal transport minister says $53 billion fund to help municipalities improve infrastructure

Federal Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Denis Lebel was speaking Saturday at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference in Vancouver. Lebel said the Building Canada plan, which will help rebuild roads, bridges, subways and other infrastructure, will take effect by the end of the fiscal year.

You asked for more funding. We gave you $53 billion across those 10 years,” Lebel told hundreds of delegates at the FCM conference.

“You asked us to index the gas tax fund. That’s in the new plan. You asked not to miss a construction season, so we will be ready to have agreements in place by next spring.”


Toronto floods to a halt

Morning rush hour traffic slowed to a standstill across Toronto earlier this week as rivers overflowed their flood barriers, washing out major highways and railway tracks.

Toronto's Mayor, Rob Ford, was quick to praise municipal officials for their ability to clean up the mess and avoid further problems. “Days like today serve as a reminder why we must maintain investment in our aging infrastructure.”


Montreal hit with Boil Water Advisory - over one million affected

Up to 1.3 million Montrealers were told to boil their drinking water in what municipal officials reported was purely a precautionary move.

Renovations at the largest water cleaning plant in the province required the water level in a reservoir to drop, but the water levels got so low that sediment was stirred up.

No illnesses were reported, but that hasn't stopped the tough questions from rolling in.


Will Montreal ever clean up City Hall? (column)

"Sometimes it’s easy to wonder how serious Montreal city hall is about cleaning up its sleazy act.

What prompts this skepticism are two of the 60 recommendations in this month’s high-powered report on municipal reform that Mayor Michael Applebaum commissioned. If adopted, both of these little-publicized recommendations would have the effect of making it even harder to crack down on wasteful practices, including corruption and collusion. Yet the mayor has endorsed the report as a whole..."


Congratulations, Clark Somerville!

We want to congratulate Clark Somerville on winning the position of 3rd Vice President (Ontario) at this weekends FCM conference. Somerville was instrumental in leveraging pressure to get the United States to drop a very damaging "Buy American" policy which would have proven devastating to Canadian manufacturers. He says he looks forward to representing both urban and rural issues with equal fervour.


Questions or comments?

It's always great to hear from our readers. Call or email anytime.

Veso Sobot, P.Eng
Ipex Management Inc.
(905) 795-6113

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