Infrastructure Inspections and Awareness

Or – Why Inspections are Fundamental to Asset Management Two engineering departments in the City of Honolulu have very different approaches to the same problem. The city does not have an inspection program for light poles, despite the fact that there are 51,000 street lights on the island. The city says it doesn’t have the …

Infrastructure, the Economy and Local Governments

Some of the greatest challenges that local governments face in Canada revolve around the concept of the “Infrastructure Deficit“. In Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, (FCM) has a position statement on the infrastructure deficit: All governments – federal, provincial, territorial and municipal – must work together and with the private sector to make immediate infrastructure repairs …

The Price of Ignoring Water Infrastructure

Image by urbanworkbench via Flickr We’ve been living on borrowed time when it comes to infrastructure, not just the communities in the Kootenays, but towns and cities of all sizes across North America. From what I can tell, more than half of the pipe in the ground in this part of the world is older …

The Future of Infrastructure?

We speak in very real terms about the state of infrastructure deficit we find ourselves in as a nation and as municipalities, and scratch our heads as we wonder how we are going to possibly find the money to complete all of the upgrades or renewal required. Charles Hughes Smith, the author of Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for …

The Infrastructure Equation

Image via Wikipedia I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week considering the role of senior levels of government in providing funding to municipalities for infrastructure projects, and how these funds are distributed. It has been acknowledged across North America that the infrastructure deficit is one of the most pressing limitations to the …

Canadian Cities Collapsing – The Infrastructure Report

In the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse a couple of months ago, many reports have circulated around the US, determining that the state of infrastructure is near critical, with major funding required to ensure that infrastructure remains in service.
However, in Canada, investigations into recent bridge collapses have produced little momentum from governments to look at the state and remaining lifespan of infrastructure. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities issued the results of a poll of some of it’s member organizations, which has extrapolated that there is an infrastructure deficit of as much as $123 billion dollars, and that municipalities should not bear the entire brunt of the cost.

::FCM:: PRESS RELEASE

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.

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There is a huge incentive to fix things up now, while the dollar is strong against the USD and the Canadian economy is relatively strong. Will the provincial and federal governments step up to the challenge?

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A Disturbing Trend in Local Government

The resignations of over a dozen mayors and councillors in British Columbia over the past two years is “a disturbing trend,” according to a veteran of municipal politics. Source: CBC – “A Disturbing Trend” “Long hours, low pay and increased complexity cited” as the main reasons. In the decade that I’ve worked for local government, …

Small Towns – Big Appetites

While listening to this podcast, I was struck by how similar the discussion sounded to what I had experienced while living in Castlegar, a town of around 7,500 in rural BC. The Pending Financial Implosion of Small Town America – StrongTowns Podcast. (link to site here). Strongtowns is a blog and podcast that has packaged …