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Canada at the forefront of international best practice on infrastructure planning and delivery

Government of Canada Releases Recommendations for Moving Forward on Canada's First National Infrastructure Assessment 

On 29th July, the Canadian Government released its recommendations for Moving Forward on the National Infrastructure Assessment. The recommendations respond to the findings from the National Infrastructure Assessment consultation, to which GIIA submitted a response in June.

The five key recommendations are:

  • Canada should create an independent advisory body to carry out the Assessment covering all sectors of economic, sustainable, and natural infrastructure.
  • The government should define a clear mandate for the independent advisory body, and develop a comprehensive inventory of infrastructure gaps, providing case studies to the government with recommendations.
  • The assessment needs to ensure that infrastructure investments drive Canada towards net-zero emissions. It should also establish a strategy to near, medium and long-term investment prioritisation over the next 30 years.
  • The independent advisory body should leverage global best practices and work with government, investors and indigenous communities.
  • The Assessment should include clear investment recommendations, timelines and an infrastructure investor roadmap. It should also identify new programmes to spur investment in specific areas to facilitate partnership with the private sector.

Overall, the main themes above take into account a large portion of GIIA’s recommendations with further detail being given on:

  • Use of the Assessment to create a long-term predictable pipeline of major projects for investment and to drive competition.
  • Support for industry innovation and low carbon products.
  • Increase engagement and communication across government, infrastructure financiers and infrastructure owners.
  • The importance of private sector involvement, PPP’s and asset recycling.
  • Use of best practice around the world, with particular mention to the UK and its outlining of a long-term project pipeline.
  • Expanding the public fund pool by using innovative funding structures.
  • Long term regulatory planning and predictability for investors.
  • The role that the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) should play in crowding-in private finance.

The Canadian government will now establish an independent advisory body to carry out the assessment and CAD$22.6m of funding will be allocated over 4 years to improve infrastructure planning.

Jon Phillips, Deputy CEO and Corporate Affairs Director, GIIA said: 

“The Canadian government has placed itself at the forefront of international best practice on infrastructure planning and delivery with their wide-ranging consultation on the Canada National Infrastructure Assessment, and now in their response to the feedback, setting out an ambitious programme of infrastructure investment over a long-term horizon.

“Canada has historically had an excellent reputation as an investment destination for infrastructure investors and the NIA process sets the bar high in terms of clarity of thinking for what is needed in Canadian infrastructure over coming decades. We look forward to continuing to work with the Canadian government and the new independent advisory body to deliver a programme of infrastructure projects in Canada which will benefit future generations for years to come."