April 4, 2018

CCPPP Indigenous Infrastructure Update

As most of you will recall, Federal Indigenous Services Minister, Jane Philpott, opened our 25th Annual National Conference in November with a call for the private sector to build stronger partnerships with indigenous communities and to bring new and innovative solutions to the table.

CCPPP is taking that message and putting it into action. In January, members of our Board of Directors had an opportunity to co-host a First Nations infrastructure roundtable in West Vancouver that included representation from the First Nations Health Authority, First Nations Financial Management Board, First Nations Finance Authority, First Nations Tax Commission, and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition. The roundtable participants discussed the infrastructure deficit, challenges to building on reserve, and potential solutions, including the use of public-private partnerships to build world-class infrastructure in First Nation communities.

In February, CCPPP President and CEO, Mark Romoff also had the opportunity to participate in a procurement conference in Sudbury that was hosted by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business that focused on procurement in Northern Ontario, including the Ring of Fire.

A few days later, Mark participated in a roundtable and conference entitled Arctic 360, which was hosted by a number of Greater Toronto Area think tanks in partnership with the federal government to generate ideas for a new federal Arctic infrastructure strategy.

At the end of February, a few CCPPP members were invited by the First Nations Tax Commission to participate in a roundtable/brainstorm to discuss how a First Nations Infrastructure Institute can be created and how it could be operationalized. This initiative would give First Nations control of First Nations infrastructure and create a centre of excellence to improve the procurement and delivery of infrastructure in these communities. This will be a file to watch as it progresses.

Finally, on March 26th, the First Nations Major Projects Coalition invited CCPPP and some of its members to participate in an Industry Day on the heels of their Annual General Meeting in Prince George, BC. This provided an opportunity to give an overview of P3s and participate in a roundtable with over 60 elected officials from 40 First Nation communities and more than 20 private sector representatives to discuss opportunities for moving the infrastructure agenda forward.

CCPPP continues to be heavily engaged on the indigenous file as it is imperative that the infrastructure gap be closed to improve the health, safety, and long-term prosperity of these communities.