I am guessing that many people assume that the Government built the railroad across Canada that paved (should that be railed) the way for the settlement and subsequent economic expansion of Western Canada. The truth is that a corporation did it and ‘gasp’ even made money from the endeavour. In reality one could call it of the first private-public partnerships (P3) that seemed to be scorned today despite the fact that evidence shows that they are typically a win-win proposition.
The article comments on the hypothetical scenario that the same railroad were built today:
“The environmental assessment would take 33 years and nine months. The land claim settlements of first nations would have to be resolved first. I would expect to target 2042 for completion of treaty negotiations. They would insist on first nations hiring of engineers and workers.”
“There would be a Charter of Rights and Freedoms constitutional challenge over whether this is actually a rail project and a national undertaking or a resource project with obvious provincial responsibility. The parliamentary debate would be complicated. The Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Undertakings would hold hearings every summer for 63 years. Provincial governments would insist on a First Ministers Conference. Then they would hold each other hostage to approval until they got bought off by the federal government or the [private business] proponent.”
The reality is that it would never get built but the Federal Government would still spend billions of dollars before coming to the same conclusion.