A recent report from OECD advocates government policy makers deploy stimulus funds and investment into broadband infrastructure -
Broadband infrastructure, in particular, can be a good target for economic stimulus spending because many projects can be initiated relatively quickly, are labour-intensive, can minimise economic leakages, and may promise stronger marginal impacts on supply and productivity than investing in established networks such as electricity, gas, water and transportation.
The full report is available here and in interesting to read. A wealth of related data on broadband deployments current as of December 2008 (including pricing, policies, penetration, etc) is available from OECD in detailed excel spreadsheets here.
My sense is that Canada’s economy would certainly benefit more from advancing communications infrastructure projects than it would by having another government building or public works project.