Canada sets global example, using public private partnerships for
construction and repair
TORONTO, Sept. 12 /CNW/ -
What: With 50% of the world's population poised to live in cities by
2008, infrastructure is leading government agendas everywhere, and
countries are relying on private-sector expertise more and more.
Governments are deregulating industries, introducing competition
and selling companies and assets to private investors to encourage
the private sector to fund infrastructure investment.
Recent tragedies in Canada and around the world reinforce the need
to address infrastructure now. Last September, five people died
when a Quebec overpass collapsed on top of them. Last month, 13
people were killed when a Minneapolis bridge collapsed into the
Mississippi River. With situations like this on the rise, cities
and countries need to find new ways of repairing and constructing
infrastructure sooner, not later.
A new Ernst & Young report says Canada is actually setting an
infrastructure example other countries should follow to navigate
rising costs of construction and repairs (up 50% since 1999) and
tackle the problem of aging or otherwise inadequate
Why: Politicians and planners need to find new ways of financing the
maintenance and creation of infrastructure. According to the
report, Canada's use of public-private partnerships (P3s) offers
other governments valuable ideas and practices to consider as well
as access to needed capital for large-scale projects.
Infrastructure means everything from schools and hospitals to
roads, ports and rail lines. Economic growth, productivity,
competitiveness and quality of life are all directly linked to
sound infrastructure. As cities continue to expand, finding new
means of financing and building infrastructure is a top priority.
Canada's model offers a unique way of managing this challenge.
- The Canadian government recently announced $33 billion in
funding for infrastructure projects nationwide, including
$1 billion for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor (roads,
rail, and port connections across western Canada designed to
strengthen Canada's competitive position as the gateway between
North America and Asia).
- Ontario plans to spend $30 billion on infrastructure between
2005 and 2010, and Alberta is pledging billions on projects of
- Canada's federal and provincial governments now routinely
evaluate P3s as delivery methods for these infrastructure
- P3s offer governments real advantages, like the opportunity to
retain control, transfer risk of cost overruns and gain
efficiencies from private operators.
- The earliest hospital projects to be built in Canada using the
P3 model are now becoming operational; these projects are ahead
of schedule and on or under budget.
- Canada is working to improve coordination of the process so as
to ensure a consistent deal flow of P3 projects. Canada has
already created a favourable environment, and for that reason
some of the largest global investors in infrastructure have
entered the P3 market here in recent years.
Who: Ernst & Young's experts can discuss the reasons why Canada is a
good example of the P3 model where infrastructure is concerned,
and how others can learn from the success here thus far.
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