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Growing number of economists agree: infrastructure spending urgently needed

Wish list includes accelerated spending in new technology, alternative energy and transportation.

Dr Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Nesbitt Burnsby Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce

January 14, 2009 — There is a growing consensus among economists that accelerated spending in new technology and transportation infrastructure should be included in the federal government's fiscal stimulus package, which is expected to be unveiled later this month.

"Infrastructure spending has the advantage of putting construction workers back to work and contributing to the growth industries of the future" said Sherry Cooper, Bank of Montreal economist.

"Canada has long underinvested in basic infrastructure and there is also urgent need for new technology infrastructure."

According to Cooper, the stimulus package should focus spending on alternative energy, the modernization of public services, including public transportation and voice and Internet coverage to meet the needs of international business.

"It is a travesty that Europe and Japan have clean, reliable, fast train service between most cities, while North American passenger-train service is a relic of the last century with even sketchier schedules than in the 1950s," she said. . .

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  Growing number of economists agree infrastructure spending urgently needed , by Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce, January 14 2009

Posted: January 21, 2009

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