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Meet Senator

George Baker

The Hon. George  Baker, P.C. Senator George Baker is the former MP for the riding of Gander - Grand Falls (Newfoundland and Labrador). He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1974, and was re-elected at every subsequent federal election. Since March 26, 2002, he has served in the Senate of Canada, representing the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Statements & Hansard

Senator Eggleton Raises Concern for Infrastructure Deficit in Cities

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Statement made on 05 December 2007 by Senator Art Eggleton

Hon. Art Eggleton:

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak about a growing problem in Canada, a problem that, if not dealt with, will cripple our ability to compete in the world economy.

I am speaking about the increasing infrastructure deficit that is found in Canadian cities and communities.

A recent report published by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities pegged the deficit at over $123 billion. Honourable senators, this deficit affects Canadians in every city and every community across this country. It is reflected in the roads we drive on, the pipes that deliver water to our homes, the public transportation that we use and it is the places where our kids play.

Currently, an estimated 28 per cent of our infrastructure is more than 80 years old and, shockingly, 79 per cent of the life expectancy of Canada's infrastructure has been used up.

The $123 billion figure can be broken down into such areas as water and waste water systems, $31 billion; transportation, $21.7 billion; waste management, $7.7 billion; and community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure, $40.2 billion. Furthermore, this number does not even include what is needed in new infrastructure investment.

Honourable colleagues, more worrisome than the numbers was the reaction of the Harper government. Instead of reacting by saying they want to help, the federal Minister of Finance called mayors and local politicians "whiners."

Honourable senators, that is not leadership and this does not help to solve the problems that plague our cities and communities. With record surpluses at the federal level, it is time that the government invests and helps our cities and communities.

Problems may be found at the local level, but they are not owned by the cities and communities. These are problems that are owned by all Canadians and need to be solved by all Canadians. We in all orders of government need to work together to address the infrastructure situation.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

First Nations Control of First Nations Education Bill

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Lillian Eva Dyck | Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about this motion. I am definitely in support of it. The idea of a First Nations education act is critically important to the welfare of First Nations across Canada, and especially to our young people.

Income Inequality

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette | What does the government intend to do to learn from the financial crisis, reduce wealth inequality, and follow the lead of other jurisdictions that have started to rein in compensation that has nothing to do with the productivity of the people who earn the average salary of a Canadian in half a day?

Broadcast of Senate Proceedings

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchelll | What is the leader's personal opinion about televising the Senate?

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Art Eggleton | That was supported unanimously in the Senate, so I take it, senator, that you would be willing to now advance this idea to the government.

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator James Cowan | My question is: Will this government put National Pharmacare on the agenda?
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