Transformative Infrastructure: A Local and Regional Perspective


Panel discussion

Date Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Time 12 p.m.  –  2 p.m.*
Location Room 1020, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Halifax
*Reception to follow in Room 3087

Presented by the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance and the School of Public Administration made possible in part by the support of the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

This event is free and open to the public.

Opening remarks:
Mayor Mike Savage


  • Sylvain Charlebois – Dean, Faculty of Management and Professor, Faculty of Management and Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University
  • Brendan Haley – Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University
  • George Kaulbeck – Global Director – Transportation, CPCS
  • Paul MacIsaac – Senior Vice-President, Halifax Port Authority
  • James McLean – Policy Lead, Public Policy Forum
  • Mary Brooks (Moderator) – Professor Emerita, Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University

Infrastructure spending—on transportation, energy, telecommunications, for example—is not always the sexiest topic, noted John Ivison, but historically, these investments have changed our society.  The TransCanada Highway and national rail connects Canadians from coast to coast; airports and seaports have made it possible to connect with people, goods and services around the world.  New technologies offer similar promise. Infrastructure investments in wireless technologies, high speed commuter trains and driverless cars, for example, will not just accommodate the recreational and professional needs of future communities, they will shape them. The federal government plans to more than double its infrastructure spending over the next ten years. The government’s first round of funding targeted the aging systems; the next round will target transformative infrastructure.

Framing Questions:
Panelists have been asked to address at least three of the following questions:

  • What is the most important infrastructure investment for our region that has not yet been made?
  • How do we strike a balance between the transformative and the realistic?
  • How should we measure the success of infrastructure investments?
  • How should new infrastructure be funded?
  • How do we use new infrastructure investment to develop economic opportunities for our region?
  • How do we address future security and / or environmental risks to this new infrastructure?
  • How do we mobilize the support necessary to approve and develop preferred infrastructure investments?
  • How should we hold the government to account for the upcoming investments in infrastructure?