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A Federation of Canadian Municipalities report released today says the foundations of Canada’s cities and communities are near collapse.

The study, Danger Ahead: The Coming Collapse of Canada’s Municipal Infrastructure, says close to 80 per cent of Canada’s infrastructure is past its service life and pegs the infrastructure deficit at $123 billion.

Most municipal infrastructure was built between the 1950s and 1970s, and much of it is due for replacement. Our concern lies with the response that we have received to date from the Federal government in terms of the Building Canada fund,” says CUPE National President Paul Moist

The $123-billion estimate in the study includes “sub-deficits” for key categories of municipal infrastructure:

  • water and waste water systems ($31 billion)
  • transportation ($21.7 billion)
  • transit ($22.8 billion)
  • solid-waste management ($7.7 billion)
  • community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure ($40.2 billion).

This figure of $123 billion will grow exponentially.

Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments need to come together to develop a sustainable plan that will tackle this deficit. “The infrastructure deficit impact is not only economic, explained Moist. “There is also a threat to life and health – our bridges need repair, our water systems are springing leaks.”

The Federal surplus is hovering at $14 billion. We have known for some time that the infrastructure deficit in this country was growing at an alarming rate.

The FCM report say municipalities will not be able to deal with the infrastructure deficit by increased property taxes.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Gord Steeves said the FCM is calling on the federal government and all parties in the House of Commons to acknowledge the problem and the need for a real national plan to fix the infrastructure deficit once and for all.