Mind the infrastructure gap


Daryl Copeland argues the federal government’s priorities have left little room to deal with national infrastructure needs.

At a time of robust economic growth, Canada’s federal government cut personal and corporate taxes, and reduced the GST by a few percentage points. These actions eliminated several tens of billions of dollars per year in revenue, and, with that, the government’s capacity to raise and retain funds that could later be deployed in support of the public interest. At the same time, the government dramatically increased spending on the armed forces, accumulated the large ancillary expenses associated with going to war in Afghanistan, and presided over the unprecedented militarization of Canadian society.

Meanwhile, Postmedia finds that the $3.1 billion spent to upgrade water treatment plants in recent years may not bring such infrastructure up to new federal standards—standards that may require another $20 billion in upgrades. Municipalities put the total infrastructure deficit at $123 billion.


Mind the infrastructure gap

  1. Our infrastructure is crumbling….meanwhile we built a dam in Afghanistan…now that’s clever.  Not.

  2. Daryl Copeland ~ That is regrettable. In the last few years, Canada’s standing in the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index has fallen from first place to eighth, and it is set to fall further


    Gary Becker ….. also presented evidence that discrimination is more pervasive in more-regulated, and therefore less-competitive, industries. 


    The federal government’s civilian workforce grew by 35 percent between 1999 and 2009, while the Canadian population increased by only 11 percent. Jobs in the for-profit sector of the economy increased by 14 percent during this time period.

    In February, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy released a study showing average wages for federal public administration workers increased faster than the average wage for any other major category of worker, growing 59 percent between 1998 and 2009 according to Statistics Canada. 

    By comparison, average wages across the economy increased only 30 percent. The aforementioned CD Howe report notes that total compensation per civilian employee in the federal government reached $94, 000 in 2009/2010, nearly double the average of $47,500 in the private economy.

    More Ontario public servants – 11 per cent more – are making over $100,000 annually, with the list topping out at 71,478.

    • Becker, Frontier Centre – it must be Wednesday.

  3. Copeland, and many others, would not be nearly so witless if they ever bothered to think about economics.

    “The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D …. They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion — that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it.”


    Postrel ~ Search For Tomorrow:

    Stasist social criticism—which is to say essentially all current social criticism—brings up the specifics of life only to sneer at or bash them. Critics assume that readers will share their attitudes and will see contemporary life as a problem demanding immediate action by the powerful and wise. 

    This relentlessly hostile view of how we live, and how we may come to live, is distorted and dangerous. It overvalues the tastes of an articulate elite, compares the real world of trade-offs to fantasies of utopia, omits important details and connections, and confuses temporary growing pains with permanent catastrophes.

    • Most of us have advanced since 1883.  Get back to us when you hit the 20th century at least.

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