Saskatchewan is blessed with natural resources that have made the province attractive to investors. But over the past 25 years the province has lagged most other provinces in public infrastructure investment. Evidence indicates that Saskatchewan could improve its long-term growth path by lifting public investment in infrastructure.
In April of 2016, The Conference Board of Canada’s Saskatchewan Institute organized a one-day forum, Finding Top Gear: Urban Centres as Engines of Growth, to examine key challenges affecting the economic growth of Saskatchewan’s urban centres. Discussion centred on the infrastructure and services required to sustain the economy and attract and retain the labour market needed to broaden economic growth. This follow-up briefing provides a literature review related to the quality and quantity of public infrastructure and its role in supporting economic activity. This analysis is meant to help inform leaders and policy-makers about the benefits of infrastructure spending and provide some indications about whether Saskatchewan’s current investment levels might be below optimal levels.