The campaign for a national trade corridor investment strategy is moving to Parliament Hill.
MHCA, through the Western Canada Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association, is among six leading national business associations that have created and campaigned for support of a Canada Trade Infrastructure Plan (CTIP). Fully two thirds of our GDP depends on trade but the infrastructure that moves trade is not up to the task of getting Canadian goods to market.
For too long, Canada has prioritized projects that are ‘shovel ready’ rather than ‘shovel worthy’. Among our trade competitors, only Canada lacks coherent, long-term trade infrastructure planning. Further, an international survey in 2019 indicated Canada ranked 32nd on its trade transportation quality – behind Azerbaijan. It was 10th in 2009.
“We have to repair Canada’s battered reputation as a reliable trade partner,” said Chris Lorenc, President & CEO of MHCA and WCR&HCA. “We have the provinces, unanimously, on-board to press for a national strategy. We need a commitment from Ottawa to see the initiative included in the coming federal budget.”
In July, the Premiers’ Council of the Federation, at its meeting in Winnipeg, issued a communique supporting the principles of CTIP and calling on the Trudeau government to hold a First Ministers meeting to discus this and other strategic infrastructure priorities.
The business coalition is gathering support across the country, including from individuals and sector associations, as it plans its approach to federal ministers, MPs and senior department officials.
According to a 2023 Ipsos survey, over 9 in 10 Canadians in every province agree Canadian governments and industry need to work together to create a long-term national plan to invest in building and maintaining trade infrastructure.
Canadian organizations, including the Canada West Foundation, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Construction Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Civil Infrastructure Council Corporation and Western Canada Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association, are urging the federal government to convene provincial, federal and industry representatives to develop a Canada Trade Infrastructure Plan.
What is the coalition looking for?
We want the federal government to immediately convene provincial, federal and industry representatives to develop a Canada Trade Infrastructure Plan that delivers:
- An efficient network of trade infrastructure, with gateways and corridors supporting sustained, trade-based economic growth;
- Measurable GHG emission reductions across the entire trade transportation system;
- The infrastructure to support trade diversification, shielding our economy from over reliance on any single market; and
- A restored global reputation for Canada as a reliable trading partner and desirable market in which to invest.