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Published on Friday, July 21, 2017

Chamber calls for more transportation infrastructure

Chamber of Commerce says more government spending needed to support business

Chamber calls for more transportation infrastructure
Oakville Chamber calls for more investment in transportation infrastructure
— Logo of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville Beaver

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce says transportation infrastructure gaps are continuing to block productivity with Canadians who live in major cities collectively spending more than 10,000 years sitting in traffic every 12 months.

The Oakville Chamber, in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, released the report “Stuck in Traffic for 10,000 Years: Canadian Problems that Infrastructure Investment Can Solve” Wednesday (July 17).

The report examines the effects of traffic congestion in major cities, ranging from lowered employee productivity to delays in moving goods and services.

Lack of proper transportation infrastructure is a major barrier to Canada’s access to market and to its competitiveness, leading to lost opportunities and wasted time for both Canadian companies and residents, says the report.

“As Canadians head out on vacation this summer, they will be spending longer periods in their cars, stuck in traffic because of inadequate road infrastructure, including poorly maintained roadways, interchanges and bridges,” said Perrin Beatty, CEO and President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“Unfortunately, it won’t stop after their vacations, either. Congested transportation systems-and the loss of time and productivity that comes with them- have become a reality for tens of thousands of businesses and their employees.”

Oakville Chamber of Commerce President John Sawyer said the report’s findings support the results of his chamber’s 2016 Advocacy Survey in which 64 per cent of respondents listed traffic congestion as an obstacle to their business.

The survey also found Oakville Chamber members’ top three infrastructure priorities were all transportation related including local roads and bridges, public parking and transit.

“Inconsistent public investment in our transportation systems is a hindrance to small and large businesses alike with real environmental and economic costs. Canadians in the country’s largest cities are collectively losing over 10,000 years sitting in their cars every year, time that could be much better spent,” said Beatty. “As MPs tour Canada this summer making infrastructure announcements, we need to ask, ‘are these investments being spent in the right places?’”

The report outlines several other infrastructure challenges that government must target to keep Canada competitive such as:

• Facilitating trade along the Asia-Pacific Gateway and corridor

• Improving digital access and infrastructure

• Maximizing potential in Canada’s North

• Enhancing the Ontario-Quebec trade corridor

• Getting Canadian oil and gas to markets

• Green electrification and transmission

Sawyer said the report supports the Oakville Chamber’s resolution that was passed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to link investment in core infrastructure to productivity performance and enhancement.

The Oakville of Commerce will be bringing this policy resolution forward to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce at their Annual General Meeting in September.

“Infrastructure funds need to be allocated effectively and efficiently to the right types of projects. It is vital that investments are made strategically into projects that support the long-term growth of our economy” stated Sawyer.

For more information about the Oakville Chamber of Commerce or to read the report visit www.oakvillechamber.com.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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