Ensuring Canadians have access to the infrastructure and services they need is of tremendous importance to both governments and the private sector, and ultimately Canadian taxpayers. One of the best ways to achieve greater success is the creation and sharing of a comprehensive, long-term outlook on projects from all levels of government. In the infrastructure sector, we call this the 'project pipeline.'
This list would detail hundreds of projects of all sizes and asset classes considered for tender, as well as the procurement time frame and what type of model is likely to be used. Regular status updates would also be encouraged and tracked.
Why is this pipeline important?
A comprehensive list provides greater certainty for the private sector, gives government an idea of projects in other jurisdictions they're competing against for talent, and allows the private sector to consider interoperability between projects and the potential for innovative solutions to governments’ objectives.
Ultimately, this certainty encourages greater competition and innovation in procuring projects and enables governments and the private sector to develop a greater appreciation of labour demands and material constraints. This means improved cost certainty for taxpayers.
Currently, infrastructure procurement in our country is done in a piecemeal fashion. Projects are announced by the federal government, provinces and territories, municipalities and Indigenous communities on an ad hoc basis. Only Infrastructure Ontario and Infrastructure BC publish regular market outlooks.
At the moment, the opportunity pipeline is largely established through market sounding exercises that are sporadic, often do not engage the entire industry and can become somewhat repetitive in the inquiries made.
For example, a coordinated market outlook would enable the federal government to coordinate strategy and various levels of funding, particularly for project or sectoral initiatives in which federal funds are being deployed or otherwise promised.
Building the Best Project Pipeline for Canadians
CCPPP believes a strong federal approach to developing a National Infrastructure Assessment is required to not only outline the immediate needs of today but for several decades. We support an independent, evidence-based and expert-driven assessment of Canada’s infrastructure needs to help governments meet their objectives, drive innovation and stretch taxpayer dollars further. The Council has long been a proponent of more robust, longer-term planning and sharing best practices to ensure Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast have access to top quality infrastructure that keeps them connected, healthy and prosperous.
By looking not only at the immediate needs of today but for several decades, as well as utilizing data to inform decisions, governments will meet policy priorities and provide greater stability to the infrastructure sector, which in turn will drive innovation and cost savings.