Infrastructure Top Priority for Governments: Ernst & Young Report

    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
              their own.
           -  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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For further information:

For further information: or to speak to an Ernst & Young spokesperson,
please contact: Nichola Petts at (416) 941-1813 or; or
Megan Bailey at (403) 206-5037 or; or Amanda Olliver at
(514) 874-4308 or

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