IMFG Paper | 2017

Financing Urban Infrastructure in Canada: Who Should Pay?

The poor state of municipal infrastructure is the subject of frequent complaint in Canada. Roads are congested, transit systems are in need of major investments, bridges are crumbling, and water treatment plants need to be replaced. Municipalities continue to seek financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments, but are transfers really the best way to pay for municipal capital investments? This paper provides an overview of how municipal infrastructure is funded in Canada with an emphasis on the extent to which the users of infrastructure pay the costs. The paper concludes that although user fees are increasing in Canadian municipalities, better pricing is needed to link those who benefit with those who pay for municipal infrastructure.

This paper is excerpted from the new book Financing Infrastructure: Who Should Pay? (2017). Order a copy of the book here.

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