By Anna Guy
The Canadian Council of Public and Private Partnerships promotes smart, innovative, and modern approaches to infrastructure development and service delivery through public-private partnerships (P3s) with all levels of government.
Formed in 1993, the Canadian Council for Public and Private Partnerships (CCPPP) promotes smart, innovative, and modern approaches to infrastructure development and service delivery through public-private partnerships with all levels of government. Canada leads the world in successful P3 projects—and the CCPPP has played a large role in this success.
“The CCPPP mandate is to promote smarter, more innovative approaches to infrastructure projects, and 25 years later, this is still very much the council’s focus,” Mark Romoff, President and CEO, tells Business Elite Canada. “The CCPPP is a P3 itself, with members comprised from public and private sectors, including all three levels of governments, Indigenous communities, and private partners from all around the world.
Indeed, Canada’s reputation as a global leader in P3s attracts interest from around the world. “Canada identified and studied the very best international practises [that could be adapted to our environment, and today we have an approach recognized around the world as best-in-class,” says Romoff. “We have come a long way over the past 25 years, and now have a council that is quite representative of jurisdictions across Canada that support P3s and the key industry players with over 400 members in the council.”
What sets Canada apart? Romoff says a strong commitment at the most senior levels is a huge advantage. “We have had a group of political leaders across Canada that have been great supporters of P3s,” says Romoff, citing Ontario’s Premier Wynne as an example of a strong proponent of the Alternative Financing and Procurement model.
Canada also benefits from provincial infrastructure agencies, like Infrastructure Ontario, Partnerships BC, and SaskBuilds, that are responsible for coordinating all infrastructure investment. “This opens up these projects to bidders around the world,” says Romoff. “True competition is a hallmark of the Canadian approach. It drives down cost, and tends to stimulate more innovative solutions.”
Transparency is another key factor. Romoff says if you look at the case of Ontario, all of their infrastructure projects are on their website, and open to everyone. “No bidding consortium is getting more or less information than others, that really guarantees a level playing field.”
The CCPPP established its own nation-wide project data base, which is the most comprehensive compendium of P3 projects in Canada. Launched this September, P3 SPECTRUM is a one-stop-source for strategic intelligence on projects, partners and market trends.
ROLE IN THE ECONOMY
At the time of this article, there were 266 P3 projects in virtually every corner of the country and at all levels of government: of those 266, 178 are operational; 46 are under construction; and 42 are in procurement. Private-Public Partnerships that have reached financial close are valued at more than $122 billion. The economic advantage is quantifiable—and is found primarily in the fact that P3 projects come online sooner than traditionally procured projects. An independent study conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) reveals the significant economic value from delivering such assets for public use sooner.
The study concluded that P3s get “assets on the ground faster. Completing a $100 billion infrastructure portfolio one year sooner would mean an additional 10 per cent of project value. This economic boost is of a similar magnitude as value-for-money. This proves that much of the (previously unquantified) benefit of P3s are in the delivery of large and complex projects on time.”
“CANCEA’s assessment of the 25-year history of P3s in Canada demonstrated savings to government up to $27 billion,” says Romoff. “That is very significant. These projects when using P3 are delivered on average 13 per cent faster.”
P3s also add 115,000 jobs on average on an annual basis, and $5 billion of additional wages per year, “Strong, solid evidence for governments to make good public policy,” says Romoff.
Indeed, the P3 model is gaining more traction outside of British Columbia and Ontario. Governments across the country are recognizing the need to address their infrastructure deficit and are allocating the funding to do it. Where they need to partner with others, they are embracing the P3 approach to make it possible.
Newfoundland and Labrador has two P3 projects in the market place right now, and the government of Nova Scotia is looking seriously at the model for a new hospital and for their road system. The Premier of Manitoba has publicly announced that they are developing a P3 business case and financial advisory services for constructing four new schools with a total value of over $100 million. “We have studied these approaches carefully and believe a similar innovative procurement delivery model could mean cost savings and better value for Manitobans,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “We owe it to taxpayers to consider how we can deliver high-quality services more cost-effectively.”
“P3s are good for industry, but more importantly, the reality is that investing in infrastructure pays dividends, is hugely critical to stimulating economic prosperity, and enables communities to become much more proactive,” says Romoff. “The more investment you can make in infrastructure, the better economic outcome, which is good for Canadians writ large.”