The Wynne government doesn't have a long-term infrastructure plan that includes an accurate description of the current condition of the province's assets, including roads and buildings. That is to say that there is no reliable estimate of Ontario's infrastructure deficit -- a crucial factor in making evidence-based, properly planned investment decisions
Greening the building sector is one of the most cost-effective and economically beneficial ways to reduce energy demand and emissions while also supporting climate adaptation and resilience. These solutions exist and can be put into action right now. It's also a solid way to get a moribund economy moving.
We know that climate change will continue to have major impacts on Canadian infrastructure, which is already aging and in need of re-investment. Moreover, we will soon see a wave of new, renewable energy infrastructure being put into place across the country, and it is essential that these innovative developments be implemented with resilience to climate change impacts in mind.
Road levy. Recreation and culture levy. Transportation for tomorrow tax. Dedicated road tax. Asset levy. Make no mistake: we want our cities to invest in infrastructure. Sewer, water, roads; these are core responsibilities of local government. But repackaging this spending with a new tax is a slap in the face.
While the leaders of the world meet in Paris and craft sweeping policy that affects the entire planet, let's remember that the most important changes usually happen close to home. I've seen the positive things solar and energy efficiency can do for communities. So when we started a big infrastructure refurbishment project at Evansdale Community League, I knew exactly what to push for.
On the morning of Oct. 28, 2015, 12 pedestrians were struck by cars in the City of Toronto. While some would say it's the result of a wet, grey day, this statistic follows an average of six pedestrians being hit each day, a stunningly high number set to increase as density intensifies and our population ages.
According to the United Nations, managing the growth of urban areas is among the most urgent development challenges of the 21st century and will be a major factor in the achievement of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. By 2050, an estimated two-thirds of the world's population will live in urban areas, with 90 per cent of that growth occurring in developing countries. Local and regional governments will need to respond by developing and maintaining infrastructure to serve the population growth.
The economy is not an abstract concept to be debated like some complex math equation. It is the day to day moments of our life that tell us whether it is safe to dream of something better for ourselves and for our children. The truth is this: on Thursday night, if a party leader does not spell out a serious plan to work with cities and municipalities, then don't be fooled. They don't have a serious plan for jobs and the economy. With that it mind, here are five questions federal political leaders need to answer in Thursday night's debate.
The worst kept secret regarding the economy was made official today -- Canada is in a recession. There is nothing technical about it; the definition of a recession is relatively straightforward: two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth. The fact that this definition might not be convenient for a sitting government's, which holds itself out as brilliant economic managers, political fortunes is irrelevant. By any objective standard, the Canadian economy is under-performing.
With a strong plan to invest in jobs and economic growth, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has boldly distinguished himself from both Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair. Mr. Harper's growth record is the worst of any prime minister in eight decades. There are 160,000 more jobless Canadians today than before he took office. And Mr. Mulcair has strangely sided with the Harper austerity agenda, meaning billions of dollars in program cuts and/or broken promises to concoct the appearance of a balanced budget next year. The Mulcair plan and the Harper plan are formulae for going nowhere. Justin Trudeau is offering the only agenda for real change.
Thanks to former Prime Minister Paul Martin, I think we've all been conditioned to think that balanced budgets are very good things. But not all deficits are bad. It is prudent or even smart to slash and scrap into a surplus like Stephen Harper has done. Especially considering that Canada's infrastructure deficit is estimated at nearly $400 billion -- and growing.
The rail-link will connect Canada's two busiest transport hubs: Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport. Despite the high-speed connector between the two busiest hubs, transport authorities expect only 5,000 daily riders on the UP Express. The King Streetcar, in comparison, carries in excess of 65,000 daily riders.