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Key for Planners: Asset Management

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  • 2 min read

The funding gap is $150 billion for basic infrastructure in Canada – roads, drinking water, stormwater management, wastewater facilities, swimming pools, playing fields, firehalls and other civic structures owned by local governments. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), who made this estimate in 2019, advised water and wastewater facilities alone require over $50 billion for replacement given their poor or very poor condition.

Taxpayers expect their local governments to maintain assets, such as sewers, roads and civic buildings, to the end of their useful life, and then have funds available to replace them. Asset management can be done on simple spreadsheets and integrated into capital plans. How can local governments do budget planning when the type, condition and replacement costs of their infrastructure isn’t known? Climate change is increasing risk by damaging assets by 20-30% more than historically. And these assets are critical to the basic functioning of our communities.

And please consider the “master asset management plan”, otherwise known as an Official Community Plan (OCP). OCPs set the locations and standards of future growth in our communities, and as a result, set the core infrastructure needs and costs. Local governments must be good stewards of their assets as the viability and resilience of our communities depends upon it.