Infrastructure in Need

Infrastructure in Need

Municipalities are constantly being portrayed as the biggest stumbling block in solving the housing crisis. The issue than many are having is the incredibly high infrastructure bill to meet the needs of the new builds. Unless the federal and provincial governments change how they fund cities the only way to pay for it is through property tax increases or increase development charges.

In the city of Calgary there is a huge investment needed in infrastructure.

“But that supply comes with a gigantic infrastructure bill. In response to a request from The Globe and Mail, the city for the first time provided a detailed breakdown of what it would need to spend: from $315-million to $375-million for water, waste water and stormwater systems; $35-million to $50-million for road interchanges; $15-million to $20-million for pedestrian overpasses; $20-million for a new fire hall; and $150-million over the years for parks, public transit, community centres and libraries.”

Now before some folks jump on here and start calling for governance reform and insist that if only we had one Niagara this wouldn’t be an issue in Niagara – stop yourselves.

Regardless of whether we are 12 municipalities and 1 region or 3 cities, or 4 cities or 1 city – the funding model stays the same. We will have the same number of kilometers of road, sewers, water, parks, community centres, libraries, sidewalks, etc.

The infrastructure deficit across the region won’t magically disappear if the governance model changes. Nor will the need to pay for all the new infrastructure. The population won’t magically increase overnight if the governance model changes – unless there’s something I don’t know.

Municipalities are responsible for 60% of the country’s infrastructure while only recieving 10% of the tax revenue. We need a new funding model. The current model doesn’t reflect the realities of today.

Read – While Ottawa lends support to new housing units, cities seek ways to foot massive infrastructure bills –