There are ways of funding badly needed projects that are already at hand and don't involve squeezing the long-suffering taxpayer harder. Although it would take some political will, Toronto could realize millions in savings that would go a long way in addressing its budget shortfall.
The public is justified in asking our politicians what taxpayers will receive in response. Is this going to be another report that sits on a shelf, or will the political level now address the systemic issues that gave rise to the rot and corruption that so enthralled those who followed the proceedings?
Allowing for more competition in public procurement would free up millions that could be reinvested in badly needed infrastructure projects and greatly reduce the risk of corruption inherent in a process that restricts bidding to a privileged few. Let the debate start now.
Policies that restrict competition ultimately act to the detriment of Canadian firms and their workers. Free trade agreements like CETA open new markets for Canadian companies, but also force them to compete against foreign entities at home. It is that competition that spurs innovation and productivity.
The 2014 Federal Budget made important investments in Canada's infrastructure, something for which the Harper Government deserves great praise. However, the Government could get a lot more bang for its infrastructure buck if it required open tendering for all projects using federal money.