Building Canada

British Columbia has become the first province to sign an agreement under Ottawa’s new infrastructure plan, called Building Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell used the massive new Kicking Horse Canyon bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway to announce the $2.2-billion deal Tuesday. The two governments say it provides more funding than any previous federal infrastructure initiative to restore and improve Canada’s transportation assets.

Now, let’s see. New Brunswick’s population is about 730k so based on B.C.’s numbers that should be about $400 million.

So, let’s be frank, stephen. New Brunswick’s definition of “Building Canada” is different than British Columbia’s. We need to rebuild a strong economic infrastructure – as BC needs to have a strong physical infrastructure.

OK. $400 million over seven years. Graham match that. $800 million over seven years. Not much but it’s a start. $200 million for a data centre sector development strategy. $100 million for a life sciences sector strategy (much less than the $1.1 billion life sciences initiative making its way through the Massachusetts legislature – but it would be a start). $200 million to attract an auto plant to Belledune. $100 million for green energy sector development strategy and that leaves $200 million over seven years to hire a cracker jack team of sales guys/gals and remunerate them properly.

I know. I know. You will say it’s far less than the money government gave up to stimulate the oil sands in Alberta. You will say it’s far less than the auto sector in Ontario. You might remind me that the federal government gave one company, Bell Helicopter in Quebec, more money that my entire seven year strategy for data centres. I know. I know it is less than the $1 billion the feds just allocated to build biofuels plants in western Canada.

But it would be a start, wouldn’t it?