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Top 100 strategic infrastructure projects in North America

I found it interesting to see what Canadian projects made the The 5th Annual Strategic Top 100 North America Infrastructure Project list. The list is compiled by CG/LA Infrastructure, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm. The Top 100 are projects that CG/LA says meet criteria to help grow North America’s global competitiveness. Naturally, most of them are in the U.S. but there are some important ones in Canada, and also Mexico, that make the list. The overall goal is to double the level of infrastructure investment in North America, with the total estimated value of the 2013/2014 list hitting US$435.7 billion. The Top 100 list will be part of CG/LA’s 5th North America Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, October 29 – 31, 2013 in Washington D.C.   

The Champion Cities Vision focuses on improving the performance of cities and surrounding urban areas so that they can attract the most productive and creative resources, serving both as engines for economic growth and as increasingly attractive places to live and work. Three Canadian projects made the list: Edmonton’s Southeast to West LTR ($3.2 billion); Toronto’s Eglinton CrossTown LRT Metrolinx (4.9 billion), and the Scarborough LRT Metrolinx ($1.8 billion).  

Energy Independence had the most Canadian projects for the various Vision categories, with a total of five and surprisingly, three of them are wind projects in B.C. ($1.5 billion), Alberta ($600 million) and Quebec ($800 million). The others are the TransCanada project for the Coastal GasLink in B.C. ($5.2 billion) and the Energy East Pipeline from Calgary to Nova Scotia ($12 billion).

In the Building Competitiveness Vision, the Strategic Top 100 list includes several projects in Canada and Mexico.

There are two projects in their list from Quebec, one in Nova Scotia, two in Ontario, one in Alberta, and one in B.C., ranging from $107 million to $5 billion. These include the new Ontario-U.S. crossing, a rail gateway in Windsor, airport upgrades in Vancouver and Calgary, and terminals.   

There are no Canadian projects listed in the three categories called Gateway Hubs, Connecting the Region and Heartland Waterways but that may be because the report appears to focus primarily on projects that benefit the U.S. 

Naturally, there are a lot more projects on the table for Canada, from mega-projects to the thousands of small ones, all of which add up to a robust industry.   

In fact, the construction sector is the fourth largest employer in Canada. And the 4th Quarter 2013 survey by ManpowerGroup shows that construction has the strongest hiring prospects of all sectors. Byrne Luft, Vice President of Operations for Manpower Canada said that “slower growth in residential construction has been offset by strong demand in non-residential.” Hiring intentions improved by four percent compared to the last quarter (July-September) and eight percent year-over-year.