Thursday, December 23, 2021

Canada's infrastructure planning process is the worst - it's official

It should probably vome as no surprise, but it still smarts nevertheless. A study comparing the infrastructure planning processes in Europe, Switzerland, USA, Australia and Canada, has marked the Canadian system as the least rigorous and most ad hoc.

The study concludes that Canada is the only one of the countries under consideration in which major transportation projects are not planned as part of a national long-term strategy. Furthermore, there is little coordination among the various different levels of government involved (leading to second-rate projects being undertaken, and huge time and budget overruns), and no discernable system for performance monitoring and evaluation after projects are implemented. Sounds about right.

And we can't just blame it all on our size and our decentralized federal system: the USA, Australia and Switzerland all have similar federal systems, and they seem to be able to make it work. It particularly smarts that (what we think of as) dysfunctional America performs better than Canada. 

This study, which comes from the unlikely source of the European Court of Auditors, should be a wake-up call for all levels of Canadian government. But, somehow, I'm not expecting anything to come of it.

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