As a third wave of COVID-19 devastates communities across the country and vaccines eke their way slowly into Canadians’ arms, some are turning their attention to the country’s bounce-back plan. When the virus is finally behind us, the climate crisis will return to top of mind, along with corresponding plans to revamp infrastructure for the coming challenges.
In mid-March, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna announced a first-of-its-kind National Infrastructure Assessment to help target the government’s spending and plan for Canada’s future.
“We can guide our infrastructure spending to chart a strong path to 2050, creating good jobs, tackling climate change and building cleaner, more inclusive communities,” McKenna said in a press release last month.
March brought a spate of infrastructure spending announcements from the Liberals. McKenna announced funding for rural transit services, while earlier that month, the government unveiled $2.75 billion to electrify transit systems across the country, along with $400 million for “active transportation” infrastructure.
As the month came to a close, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the American Jobs Plan, a US$2-trillion infrastructure program to revitalize transportation, energy, manufacturing and the care economy. It’s an ambitious, historic investment and it’s caught the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. McKenna has been studying the plan, which she says presents opportunities for collaboration.
McKenna joins Canada’s National Observer founder and editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood on May 4 for a Conversations event to talk about Canada’s infrastructure spending and parallels with Biden’s plan. The 30-minute public event begins at 1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT. Register for the event here, and subscribers are encouraged to send potential questions ahead of time to [email protected].