Politicians and citizens universally agree that Canada’s urban infrastructure urgently needs work. Roads and bridges are overdue for repair, aging water systems should be replaced, sewage must be adequately treated, urban transit needs to be updated and extended, and it is necessary that public housing as well as schools, health centres, and government offices are brought up to current standards. But few cities have room to raise additional revenue, and the federal and provincial governments to which they turn for financial support are already in deficit, so who is going to pay for all of this?
Bringing together perspectives and case studies from across Canada, the US, and Europe, Financing Infrastructure argues that the answer to the question “Who should pay?” should always be “users.” Headed by two of Canada’s foremost experts on municipal finance, this book provides a closer look at why charging user fees makes sense, how much users should pay, how to charge fees well and where present processes can be improved, and how to convince the politicians and the public of the importance of pricing infrastructure correctly.
Across the disciplines of public policy, urban studies, and economics, almost no one is looking at the extent to which users should play a role in infrastructure planning. Financing Infrastructure contends that the users, not federal and provincial taxpayers, should start paying directly for their cities’ repairs and expansions.
Contributors include Richard M. Bird (University of Toronto), Bernard Dafflon (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Robert D. Ebel (Local Governance Innovation and Development), Harry Kitchen (Trent University), Jean-Philippe Meloche (Université de Montréal), Matti Siemiatycki (University of Toronto), Enid Slack (University of Toronto), Almos T. Tassonyi (University of Calgary), Lindsay M. Tedds (University of Victoria), François Vaillancourt (Université de Montréal), and Yameng Wang (World Bank).