TORONTO, April 29, 2016 /CNW/ - We are encouraged to hear Alberta Premier Notley has not given up entirely on public-private partnerships, (P3s). In fact, we would agree with her when she says governments "have an obligation to review all types of alternative financing arrangements" to address infrastructure needs. We are concerned, however, that the premier may not have been well briefed on the full benefits of the P3 approach.
We know the P3 model is successful in Canada. More than 230 infrastructure projects have been procured across the country using this innovative, alternative financing arrangement.
We also know that the Canadian P3 model has evolved over the past 20 years to a point where it is viewed as a best practices standard around the world. Effectively used, the model consistently outperforms traditional procurement models and delivers projects on-time and on budget while demonstrating real value for money.
We are disappointed to hear that Minister Mason has declared a moratorium on future P3 projects in Alberta. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to comment on the specifics of his decision because he has chosen not to release details of the P3 review he requested. It is equally difficult for us to say whether the findings are thorough or valuable since it's not clear that the P3 industry was consulted in the course of the internal review.
We do know there have been twenty P3 projects to date in Alberta; each one was approved and then proceeded with the full knowledge that they demonstrated value for money and transferred significant financial risks from taxpayers to private sector partners. The most recent example is the winning bid for Valley Line LRT in Edmonton, which came in $500 million dollars under budget.
We would agree there are times when the P3 model is not a suitable course of action. It is, however, imprudent to simply dismiss P3s without an evidence-based evaluation of their impact and effect on the economy.
Public-private partnerships provide a framework of rigorous due process and accountability not found in the traditional procurement methods.
An independent economic assessment of Canadian P3s over a ten year period has determined the projects saved governments nearly $10 billion, generated $7.5 billion in taxes and $32 billion in income for workers. They have created more than half a million jobs and contributed $48.2 billion to GDP.
That is our evidence-based, thorough analysis of the P3 market. It is readily and easily available to the public.
We call on Minister Mason to release his ministry's report in order to allow Albertans the benefit of engaging in a thoughtful, informed discussion about the merits of public-private partnerships.
About the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships: Established in 1993, CCPPP is a national, non-partisan, member-based organization with broad representation from across the public and private sectors. Its mission is to promote innovative approaches to infrastructure development and service delivery through public-private partnerships with all levels of government. The Council is a proponent of evidence-based public policy in support of P3s, facilitates the adoption of international best practices, and educates stakeholders and the community on the economic and social benefits of public-private partnerships.
SOURCE Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships
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