Road Today - - Front Page -

Lack of proper trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture is a ma­jor bar­rier to Canada’s ac­cess to mar­ket and to its com­pet­i­tive­ness, lead­ing to lost op­por­tu­ni­ties and wasted time for both Cana­dian com­pa­nies and res­i­dents, says a new re­port by the Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“As Cana­di­ans head out on va­ca­tion this sum­mer, they will be spend­ing longer pe­ri­ods in their cars, stuck in traf­fic be­cause of in­ad­e­quate road in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing poorly-main­tained road­ways, in­ter­changes and bridges. Un­for­tu­nately, it won’t stop af­ter their va­ca­tions, ei­ther. Con­gested trans­porta­tion sys­tems – and the loss of time and pro­duc­tiv­ity that comes with them - have be­come a re­al­ity for tens of thou­sands of busi­nesses and their em­ploy­ees,” said Per­rin Beatty, CEO and Pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The Cham­ber’s re­port, ti­tled Stuck in Traf­fic for 10,000 Years: Cana­dian Prob­lems that In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Can Solve ex­am­ines the ef­fects of traf­fic con­ges­tion in ma­jor cities, rang­ing from low­ered em­ployee pro­duc­tiv­ity to de­lays in mov­ing goods and ser­vices. The re­port out­lines sev­eral other in­fra­struc­ture chal­lenges that gov­ern­ment must tar­get to keep Canada com­pet­i­tive, such as:

• Fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade along the Asia-Pa­cific Gate­way and cor­ri­dor • Im­prov­ing dig­i­tal ac­cess and

in­fra­struc­ture • Max­i­miz­ing po­ten­tial in Canada’s

North • En­hanc­ing the On­tario-que­bec

trade cor­ri­dor • Get­ting Cana­dian oil and gas to

mar­kets • Green elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and trans­mis­sion “In­con­sis­tent pub­lic in­vest­ment in our trans­porta­tion sys­tems is a hin­drance to small and large busi­nesses alike with real en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic costs. Cana­di­ans in the coun­try’s largest cities are col­lec­tively los­ing over 10,000 years sit­ting in their cars ev­ery year, time that could be much bet­ter spent,” Mr. Beatty said. “As MPS tour Canada this sum­mer mak­ing in­fra­struc­ture an­nounce­ments, we need to ask, ‘are these in­vest­ments be­ing spent in the right places?’” he con­cluded.

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