TORONTO, September 11, 2012 – Canada’s first-ever report card on the state of its public works assets has been released. ReNew Canada magazine released an exclusive first look at the results of the report in their recent issue. The article is available online at https://renewcanada.net/2012/the-infrastructure-report-card/. It turns out that the system with the worst result in this report is neither roads nor water—it’s asset management.
Just in time to weigh in on the importance of asset management in the next federal long-term infrastructure plan, four of Canada’s biggest industry associations (CCA, FCM, CSCE, CPWA) have released the results of a municipal assessment of the condition of four primary municipal infrastructure asset categories: drinking water systems, wastewater and stormwater networks, and municipal roads.
After a big initial push to get communities to submit data, 346 municipalities registered to participate. In the end, only 123 contributed. Part of the reason: municipalities lack a detailed inventory of their infrastructure. What the Report Card found that many municipalities lack the internal capacity to assess the state of their infrastructure accurately on their own. “Asset management is also something that is being discussed in the consultations leading up to the federal government’s next long-term infrastructure plan (LTIP),” says Mira Shenker, editor of ReNew Canada magazine. “The federal government will likely end up providing funding to help cities develop better asset management plans,” says Shenker, adding that municipalities don’t like being told how to use upper-tier funding, making a more prescriptive funding program unlikely.
Those who were expecting the report card to show that municipal infrastructure is crumbling–especially with federal consultations for the LTIP going on all year–will be disappointed. The results show that most assets are “Good” to “Fair.”
However, Ric Robertshaw, director of wastewater for the Region of Peel, told ReNew Canada that positive results can be misleading. Stormwater infrastructure, for instance, rated very well, but that’s likely because these assets are relatively new. Other good results are due to past and ongoing investment. “We can’t become complacent,” says Robertshaw. “To avoid a crisis scenario coming to fruition, we need to keep funding levels—at a minimum—where they are.”
To view ReNew Canada’s review of the report card, visit: https://renewcanada.net/2012/the-infrastructure-report-card/
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About The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card
The report card was produced with support from the Canadian Construction Association, Canadian Public Works Association, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
About ReNew Canada – The Infrastructure Magazine
ReNew Canada is the only industry magazine that reaches across all sectors, looking at the planning, financing, and regulations of all types of infrastructure assets and relating them to each other. For more information, visit www.ReNewCanada.net