Published On: Monday, 24 July 2017

10,000 Years in Traffic: Infrastructure Gaps Block Canadian Productivity

- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses.

CANADA - 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 a new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“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," says Perrin Beatty, the Chamber's CEO and President.

"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."

The Chamber’s report, titled "Stuck in Traffic for 10,000 Years: Canadian Problems that Infrastructure Investment Can Solve" examines the effects of traffic congestion in major cities, ranging from lowered employee productivity to delays in moving goods and services. 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; and
  • Green electrification and transmission.

“Inconsistent public investment in our transportation systems is a hindrance to small and large businesses alike with real environmental and economic costs," says Mr. Beatty.

"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. As MPs tour Canada this summer making infrastructure announcements, we need to ask, ‘are these investments being spent in the right places?’”