CALGARY: Before the government reviews the Canada Transportation Act—which is scheduled to happen by 2015—Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, Denis Lebel, says that Canada must build a transportation system that allows the country to be competitive on the world stage.
Lebel made his remarks to luncheon meeting held jointly by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and the Van Horne Institute.
According to Lebel, there are three ways to accomplish the goal.
First, he said the government must get Canada’s “economic house in order”. Lebel said the government began this step with the Economic Action Plan.
As his second point, he said Canada must “recognize emerging trends and opportunities in order to adapt our systems and policies to capitalize on them”. Specifically he mentioned the BRIC (Brazil, India, China and Russia) countries and the growing amount of trade Canada is already doing with those nations.
Tied in with these opportunities is the obligation to modernize Canadian systems and policies to ensure our transportation network will be able to handle the new business that comes with them. He named projects like the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor as being a prime example of the type of growth and investment the transportation infrastructure will require.
Lebel also spoke about the projects designed to improve border crossings while improving security, such as the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, signed by Canada and the US.
The final point in his plan was to emphasize ongoing partnerships between government of all levels, academic researchers and the private sector.
“This is no time for exclusion,” he said. “Not was we find ourselves in a time of challenge and transition.”