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2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card

2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released the 2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) on October 8, 2019. The report provides a timely update on the state of Canada’s public infrastructure across all core public infrastructure asset categories such as roads and budges; culture, recreation, and sports facilities; potable water; wastewater; stormwater; public transit; and solid waste. The evidence for the report card comes from the voluntary and federally administered Canadian Core Public Infrastructure Survey (CCPIS) that was conducted in mid-2017.

Key findings on the state of Canadian Public Infrastructure:

  • Nearly 40 percent of roads and bridges are in fair, poor, or very poor condition, with roughly 80 percent being more than 20 years old
  • There are enough Canadian roads in poor condition to build a road almost halfway to the moon.
  • Between 30 and 35 percent of recreational and cultural facilities are in fair, poor or very poor condition. In some categories (such as pools, libraries and community centres), more than 60 percent are at least 30 years old
  • 30 percent of water infrastructure (such as watermains and sewers) are in fair, poor, or very poor condition.

The CCPIS also included questions about the state of asset management practices in each jurisdiction – similar to previous report cards. Asset management plans (AMP) are specifically of importance because it is a foundational report that asset owners use to understand the state of their infrastructure assets and plan the lifecycle expenditures required to sustain those assets. There was a notable variation in which jurisdictions had a documented AMP, depending on their population size.

  • 29 percent of small municipalities (i.e., less than 5,000 people) reported a documented AMP
  • 56 percent of medium municipalities (between 5,000 and 30,000) reported a documented AMP
  • 70 percent of large municipalities (greater than 30,000) reported a documented AMP

Bill Karsten, President of FCM emphasized the importance of infrastructure planning and the results of this report. “Good, reliable infrastructure supports our quality of life in communities across the country, so Canadians should find these results concerning.” He added, “This report shows the importance of long-term investments in renewing the infrastructure that’s already in our communities – even as we envision new projects to build.”

The report did indicate a lack of Financial data available which limited the ability to produce some of the analyses found in previous CIRC’s. For example, the CCPIS data provides the breakdown of the percentage of water treatment facilities, water reservoirs, and water pumping stations in various conditions. However, the total replacement value of these asset portfolios would be needed in order to calculate a weighted overall condition for all non-linear potable water assets.

The lack of planned investment/expenditure data prevented the report from being able to publish reinvestment rates which are a key indicator of how the current state of the infrastructure systems is expected to change in the coming years.

FCM’s Press Release on the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card can be found here.

The full 2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card can be found here.

PSD has previously reported on the findings of the Canadian Core Public Infrastructure Survey. The summaries of the Core Infrastructure Survey findings can be found here: