Alberta’s transportation infrastructure management philosophy and policies are outdated and need of fundamental change. They don’t apply in a pandemic economy, and they won’t apply in a post-pandemic investment climate. Modern investors expect to see sound reason and rationale behind infrastructure decisions and taxpayers should too. The Government of Alberta has committed to developing investment frameworks that recognize this expectation.
Commitment requires action and change. The ARHCA has prepared a background paper to highlight the need for change.
Alberta’s transportation system is fundamental to the provinces continued growth and prosperity from transporting goods to markets to maintaining our social well-being and quality.
Funding and Management of Roads
Alberta roads are financed from taxes collected by the government and funneled into a general revenue fund. With few exceptions, no explicit link exists between road related revenues and expenditures.
Highways and the Economy
Highway infrastructure can affect the economy in a number of ways, nearly all of them related to increasing mobility. It can enable producers to reach markets more cheaply, to increase the size of their market area, and can increase the speed with which producers can reach markets or inputs, allowing them to hold lower inventories and carry out just-in-time production.
Alberta is Not Alone
Other governments in Canada and in other jurisdictions are facing infrastructure funding pressures have been looking for alternative funding and financing mechanisms that can support long-term investment need.
Changes to the funding, management and operation of the province’s road network is needed to ensure system-wide responsibility and self-sufficiency.