Friday, May 20, 2016

Canadian Infrastructure Gap - $500 Billion


A Canadian Press report refers to Dominic Barton as: "The man hand-picked to help revive the Canadian economy enters the job with a lot of hope, but he's adamant that the country needs to act — and soon."

Barton is the head of a 14 person advisory committee to Finance Minister Bill Morneau charged with drawing up a plan for to lead Canada out of a cycle of feeble economic growth.

Staying the current economic course, however, should not be an option, he warned.

"I think there's so much potential to unlock and opportunities going forward, even though there's challenges," Barton said during his first extensive interview since being named chair of the growth council last winter.

"If we don't do anything, it's not a good picture because we're an aging population.... It's actually important we do do something, I think, relatively aggressive
."

Barton's ideas include pushing deeper into Asian markets, learning precisely how to help smaller companies scale up and enticing huge investors from here and abroad to pour cash into major public infrastructure projects, like railways and roads.

He pegged the infrastructure gap — the difference between what Canada needs and what it has — at a level as high as $500 billion. Middle-income Canadians, he argues, would benefit from infrastructure projects because they would increase productivity.

Canada's 18 million jobs are destined to look a lot different 10 years from now, he added.

"If we aren't careful, I don't think it's going to be a very good story."

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