FCM report says infrastructure "near collapse"

    FCM's Advocacy on the Municipal Infrastructure Deficit :

    Government Response to the Municipal Infrastructure Crisis :

    OTTAWA, Nov. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The physical foundations of Canada's
cities and communities are "near collapse," according to a report on the state
of municipal infrastructure released today by Federation of Canadian
Municipalities (FCM) President Gord Steeves.
    The report, Danger Ahead: The Coming Collapse of Canada's Municipal
Infrastructure, says that close to 80 per cent of Canada's infrastructure is
past its service life. It sets the price for eliminating the municipal
infrastructure deficit at $123 billion.
    Accompanied by Dr. Saeed Mirza of McGill University's Department of Civil
Engineering and Applied Mechanics, leader of the research team that conducted
the study, Steeves said both the size of the deficit and its accelerating
growth point to a coming collapse in Canada's municipal infrastructure.
    "Canada's economy and quality of life and the health and safety of
Canadians depend on the infrastructure our municipalities build and own, yet
we don't have the resources to maintain it. If we don't act soon as a nation
to tackle this deficit, we will see more catastrophic failures in our roads,
bridges, water supply and other vital infrastructure. Continued delay is
    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) and community, recreational, cultural
and social infrastructure ($40.2 billion).
    Similar to earlier studies, this report provides a "snapshot" of what
municipal governments identify as their infrastructure funding needs. It does
not provide an exhaustive or complete account of the physical condition of
municipal infrastructure.
    Dr. Mirza said: "The $123-billion figure, when compared with earlier
estimates, clearly shows the municipal infrastructure deficit is growing
faster than previously thought. Most municipal infrastructure was built
between the 1950s and 1970s, and much of it is due for replacement. As assets
reach the end of their service life, repair and replacement costs skyrocket.
Across Canada, municipal infrastructure has reached the breaking point."
    Steeves said 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 it once and for all.
    "One thing is certain," said Steeves, "the cost of fixing this problem
will only go up. Any serious plan to eliminate this deficit must begin with an
acknowledgement of the scope of the problem and the urgent need to address it.
I have written to all party leaders today. All Canadians look forward to their

For further information:

For further information: Maurice Gingues, Communications Officer, (613)

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