New National Report Card says Canada's Municipal Infrastructure "at risk"

Canada's municipal infrastructure is at risk, with more than half of municipal roads requiring significant repairs and one in four wastewater plants needing major upgrades. This was the key finding of the first-ever Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, a major study released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and three industry partner organizations on September 12.

The report card, which surveyed more than 120 municipalities representing 60% of the Canadian population, says more than half of municipal roads are falling apart beneath our tires. One in four roads is over capacity, transporting far more people and goods than it was designed to handle. And one in four wastewater treatment plants needs to be upgraded or replaced to meet new federal standards introduced this summer, at a cost of at least $20 billion.

Without immediate improvement and ongoing maintenance, the cost of fixing or replacing the assets studied will explode over the next decade.

The FCM partnered with the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), the Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) to deliver the report card. This marks the first time a group of national stakeholders worked together to measure the state and performance of municipal infrastructure from one end of Canada to the other.

This first edition of the report card measured the condition of municipal roads, drinking water, wastewater, and storm water systems. Future studies, which the FCM and its partners plan to release on a regular basis, will look at other assets such as housing and transit.

The full report card, as well as background information and supporting documents, can be viewed at www.canadainfrastructure.ca, a new website.