The Government of Canada has released its first dataset under Canada’s Core Public Infrastructure (CCPI) survey in an effort to build its public infrastructure knowledge base.

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, welcomed the release of the data. The survey was a commitment made in Budget 2016 to support a more evidence and results-based approach to public infrastructure policies, programs and investment decisions.

“The results of Canada’s Core Public Infrastructure survey will establish an important baseline for measuring the impact and progress from infrastructure investments over time and will provide valuable benchmarks to help communities assess and prioritize local infrastructure projects,” said Champagne.

This first issue of survey data looks largely at roads, bridges, and tunnels, but it also provides some data on public culverts across the country.

“This was the Government of Canada’s first survey on public infrastructure assets,” said Chris Johnston, chief of special surveys, Statistics Canada. “The remaining assets will be rolled out over the course of the fall.” That data will include information on drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater assets.

The forthcoming datasets will report on the number and length of pipes, their condition, age, and how municipalities and governments managing them, among other things, said Johnston.

The current dataset reports that 30,397 publicly-owned culverts greater than or equal to three metres in diameter in 2016. Ontario holds the largest number with 41.4 per cent, followed by Quebec with 14.9 per cent and Alberta, 12.5 per cent. Interestingly, nearly one-third of culverts, 31.3 per cent, were built from 2000 to 2016, which Statistics Canada said was a faster pace of construction compared with 1970 to 1999 when 43.9 per cent of culverts were constructed.

The Government of Canada expects to release these public infrastructure datasets every two years. Johnston said to expect “some changes in terms of content from the iteration we’re releasing now,” but that the “nuts and bolts pretty similar.”

Those working in public water infrastructure should expect that some consultation will be undertaken in preparation for collection on the next round in 2019, said Johnston. The consultation will address how useful the datasets were and how easy it was to report on.

To view the data released, follow this link.

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