January 19, 2018

The NDP Got It Wrong

Originally published in the Toronto Sun, January 19, 2018

The NDP of Ontario is simply wrong to say that Carillion’s highway and snowplowing contracts are public-private partnerships (P3s). It takes minimal attention or research to understand that these are outsourcing contracts that have no resemblance to a P3.

The P3/AFP model has been used to procure more than 270 publicly owned and controlled complex infrastructure projects across Canada including some of the most advanced and innovative hospitals, transit lines, and water treatment facilities in the country. Independent research indicates P3s have saved Canadians as much as $27B over the past 25 years and, on average, annually create 115,000 jobs and generate $5B in additional wages.

In fact, risk transfer to the private sector is the backbone of Ontario’s P3/AFP model. It protects tax payers and governments from incurring losses related to delays, cost over runs and substandard maintenance the NDP is so concerned about. Suggesting otherwise either demonstrates a failure to understand the P3/AFP model or it is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. Neither should be considered acceptable.