The first is coping with the inexorable trend towards urbanization. By 2036, over 60 per cent of the world's population will reside in cities. The burgeoning number of urban dwellers worldwide will put pressure on city governments in areas ranging from housing to services, infrastructure to transportation.
Ottawa's most important policy response to lagging growth has been a return to that great theme of Canadian history: building. Sixty per cent of Canada's GDP depends on trade. Canadians need to build now to get our goods and services to the growing global middle class, projected to grow from 1.8 billion today to five billion by 2030.
People around the world love the Olympics. The Games bring nations together and promote peace through friendly competition. They tell life-affirming stories of humanity's endurance and drive and the capabilities of our bodies. They bring joy to so many that we need to devise some way to stop them from also bringing so much pain in the form of billions of dollars of debt.
To some, it's the shared economy disrupting the old business models. To others, it's the gig economy that denies workers full-time hours and a living wage. Regardless of its name, the new economy is disrupting more than the established business norms. It is forcing grown-ups to live with their parents and is likely causing the decline in public transit ridership.
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.