Infrastructure Leadership Event Overview
The Globe & Mail and BCG's Center for Canada’s Future hosted an Infrastructure Leadership Event for more than 270 participants on October 4. A lively workshop with academics, students, public policy makers and C-suite executives was followed by our keynote speaker, Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
A working session to tackle the infrastructure challenges and opportunities in Canada -Morning Session
Over 80 participants joined our morning workshop at the Globe and Mail Centre to discuss Canada’s infrastructure needs, challenges and opportunities. A cross section of Canadians, from students to public policy makers to C-suite executives, listened to global and Canadian experts on infrastructure before engaging on the issues and generating ideas in a workshop. Read more here
A fireside chat to hear about how Canada’s infrastructure challenges compare with global trends in infrastructure
More than 200 people joined for lunch and more discussion regarding Canada’s infrastructure opportunities and challenges. The discussion started with the Globe and Mail’s Jacqueline Nelson engaging author and journalist Doug Saunders and international infrastructure expert Norm Anderson in a fireside chat. Doug set out the context from his new book, Maximum Canada, and talked about the challenges facing our major cities, secondary centres and rural Canada. He noted that population growth scenarios for Canada imply a significant need for new infrastructure, and that digital infrastructure will be critical to large, medium and small communities in the future. Norm discussed his ideas about "user experience" and how to ensure infrastructure investment delivers what citizens really need. He also talked about the need for strong vision and leadership, and the complementary and critical roles played by both the public and private sectors.
Launch of the CanInfra Challenge
During the afternoon lunch session Kilian Berz, Chair of BCG's Centre for Canada’s Future, announced the upcoming CanInfra Challenge. He called for university students, academics, think tanks or any Canadian with a transformational infrastructure idea to step up and enter the Challenge. The CanInfra website will have further details in the weeks to come.
Canada's Minister of Finance makes the case that Canada is able and willing to plan for a prosperous future with infrastructure
Finance Minister Bill Morneau took to the podium to share his vision for infrastructure in Canada. He explained that Canada’s fiscal position and confidence in our current economy gave us a balance sheet that allowed for long term investment in Canada’s future, specifically, by investing in infrastructure. He outlined the government's vision for the Canada Infrastructure Bank as a way to catalyze investment. Minister Morneau concluded that bold, transformational infrastructure projects are precisely what the Canadian Infrastructure Bank was designed for. Projects touching on multiple levels of government, jurisdictions and regulatory institutions require a convening body to break through roadblocks currently in our infrastructure planning. Such projects also require a sophisticated deal plan and financial analysis to attract the right investors. It was his view that the ideas that would come from the CanInfra Challenge would be the transformational ideas that could propel Canada forward and on a path of long term prosperity.