A guide to making infrastructure decisions impartially, rationally, and sensibly. A colleague recommended a Brooking Institution paper and it is a great read. Here are some extracts (emphasis and formatting added) from a recent (February 2017) paper from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution: If you build it: A guide to the economics of infrastructure investment By Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Ryan Nunn, and Greg Nantz. America’s infrastructure […]

Both Trump and Trudeau are enamoured with getting the private sector involved in public infrastructure projects. But analyzing value for money before deciding what to build, why to build it, how to build it and where to put it, they are putting the cart before the horse. Trudeau is pushing ahead with an Infrastructure Bank whose mandate is to “make […]

Trump and Trudeau might disagree on climate policy but they seem to agree on preferring public-private over government investment in infrastructure. Both want to build bridges between public and private infrastructure. Paul Krugman questions why the private sector needs to be involved at all. Trump’s infrastructure plan (extract with emphasis added): Leverage new revenues and work with financing authorities, public-private partnerships, and other […]

The Globe and Mail reported (“Liberals prepare to pitch infrastructure bank to investors”, Nov. 4, 2016) that to sell the concept of Canada’s newly minted Infrastructure Bank “Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he and several other cabinet ministers are preparing presentations for a Nov. 14 gathering in Toronto of large institutional investors. The host will be BlackRock Inc., the world’s […]

Do We Have the Ear of the Government? Unlikely.

I’d like to claim that after we wrote about the need for an infrastructure bank in Canada last week, Dominic Barton consulted with us to come up with a “blueprint for Canada’s economic future”[1] and that he took our recommendation to build “a national arm’s-length infrastructure bank.”[2] But he didn’t. Maybe he reads our blog and was convinced by our […]

An Infrastructure Bank for Canada

Canada needs an infrastructure bank. Not necessarily to give more, or cheaper, funds to provinces and municipal infrastructure owners/proposers but because we need to ensure the highest priority projects are built right. We need the infrastructure bank to bring an objective process that monetizes all of the costs and benefits of proposed projects. If we can add risk assessment into […]