How to get Infrastructure Spending Right - C.D. Howe Institute Conference Report

TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - As Canadian governments ramp up infrastructure spending, it is critical to get the business case process right, and make it publicly available for each project, notes a report from a recent C.D. Howe Institute conference, "Building the Future of Canada's Transportation Infrastructure." The conference addressed how policymakers must use these business cases to ensure that the best projects go ahead – not to justify decisions they have already made.

"Projects should always have a clear business case in order to maximize returns on investment as measured by benefit to cost ratios," said Benjamin Dachis, conference spokesperson and Associate Director, Research, at the C.D. Howe Institute. "Those business cases should clearly lay out a broad vision of the investment objectives," he adds. Further, the projects must have the proper economic and financial foundations that account for all the benefits – and costs – of an investment.

The key conference takeaways for policymakers are:

  1. There needs to be a publicly available business case for all major investment projects;
  2. Elected officials should still make the final decisions on infrastructure projects, but engage citizens from start to finish;
  3. The business case should be reflected in the final project being built;
  4. These business cases should take into account all potential major economic effects; and
  5. Policymakers should have – and use – a government-wide business case methodology in place, for example, at the federal Treasury Board, and its provincial counterparts.

For the full conference report, click here:

The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.

SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute

For further information: Alex McBrien, Communications Officer, C.D. Howe Institute; 416-865-1904 or email:


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