Kudos to Ontario's Liberal government. While their provincial counterparts elsewhere in the country are furiously burying their heads in the sand, Ontario is going to introduce a 10-year plan to replace crumbling infrastructure.
Infrastructure means funding and funding means taxes. Infrastructure also means investment and investment means long-term returns on capital. However not spending on infrastructure only makes the problems more expensive in the long run. There's a reward if you do it and there's an even bigger penalty if you don't.
One of the greatest leadership failings of contemporary politicians is their short-sightedness. When you see the world in the context of the next election cycle, there's a powerful temptation to kick problems down the road. Eventually, however, these problems tend to grow too large to avoid any longer and that's usually when they've become punishingly expensive to address.
Bear in mind, it's not a matter of replacing the sort of infrastructure we enjoyed in the 70s and 80s. That world is gone and it's not coming back for generations to come. We now have to build better, stronger and sometimes different infrastructure to cope with the onset of climate change impacts. Roads, bridges and such have to be built to withstand more heat, more cold and potentially severe flooding. There's not much point building more stuff that's susceptible to those conditions.
Remember back in June when Calgary's SaddleDome was awash in floodwater? By sheer coincidence that was when the World Council on Disaster Management gathered in Toronto for its annual conference. One of the experts in attendance was McGill University professor emeritus, Dr. Saeed Mirza. The professor, a specialist in structural engineering, estimated that Canada needed a trillion dollars worth of infrastructure upgrades to meet the conditions that will be coming at us this century.
So congratulations Ontario for being willing to finally bite the bullet on infrastructure. May you example inspire every other provincial government across this country.