The Canada West Foundation is a leading advocate for a renewed federal commitment to more funding, better planning and wise spending of strategic trade infrastructure dollars. The Foundation therefore welcomes the federal government’s recent announcement of an incremental $10-billion investment in trade-enabling transportation projects as part of its $186 Billion Long-Term Infrastructure Plan.

On November 30, 2016, the Foundation brought together industry and government stakeholders in Ottawa for an infrastructure roundtable, the third in a series over the past 24 months. The meeting’s objective was to identify recommendations to help the federal government make better choices and generate the best return on its new investments in trade infrastructure.

Among the proposals discussed in Ottawa, four were chosen for presentation to Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi for the federal government’s consideration as it develops guidelines for its new transportation and trade infrastructure funding program:

01  Adopt a one-network approach

02  Establish a sustained private sector role to produce evidence-based decision making

03  Seize quick wins

04  Engage the new U.S. administration on border infrastructure opportunities

The recommendations that follow have been summarized from the roundtable discussion. They are based on improving the economic impact of adding trade-enabling infrastructure projects; determining how to make more efficient investments in trade infrastructure; and, incorporating a specific, long-term role for the private sector in nationally significant infrastructure projects and planning. The recommendations draw upon both Canadian and international best practice.