November 18, 2020

The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships Announces 2020 Winners of National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in P3s

Projects in Ontario, the National Capital Region, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia to be honoured virtually at P3 2020 starting at 2:15 ET today

Vital transportation projects that are transforming the safety and boosting economic growth in communities, a regional hospital and a massive energy modernization project of national importance are among the five winners of the 2020 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships.

Presented by The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) since 1998, the prestigious awards will be presented virtually at CCPPP’s 28th annual conference today.

The five infrastructure projects, located in Ontario, the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau), Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia, showcase the diversity of projects across the country using P3s to deliver innovative infrastructure that best serves the economic and social needs of Canadians.

“Congratulations to the five winners of this year’s National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships,” said Mark Romoff, President and CEO of CCPPP.

“In such a challenging year for so many, it is heartening to see the impact of these transformative infrastructure projects — an impact they will continue to have for decades to come — on the lives of Canadians across the country. We look forward to celebrating their innovations and accomplishments in front of a global audience at P3 2020.”

This year’s National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships are supported by gold sponsor PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and silver sponsor Stonebridge Financial Corp.

“The awards panel was impressed by the resourcefulness displayed by the government and private sector partners in tackling these complex energy, transportation and health-care projects. There is much to be gleaned from them on new or innovative ways to procure, design, finance and deliver ongoing services as part of these critical infrastructure initiatives,” said Cliff Inskip, President of Polar Star Advisory Services Inc. and Chair of the National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships.

The winners are:

Waterloo LRT ION Stage 1 (Service Delivery Gold Award)

This 19-kilometre LRT system, which opened in 2019, has already transformed travel in one of Canada’s key high-tech startup scenes. The ION corridor in Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo area passes through four historic downtowns, a university campus and business parks and is fully integrated into the region’s bus network, cycling and pedestrian routes. Using the P3 model achieved estimated cost savings of 12 per cent compared with traditional procurement. The awards committee noted that after 12 months of service, the consortium continues to improve system performance and is beating contractual targets for monthly operating performance. The project is also helping limit urban sprawl and protect farmland by intensifying development in existing urban areas.

Partners: Regional Municipality of Waterloo and GrandLinq

Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP)/Energy Service Modernization (ESM) Project (Project Development Gold Award)

This ambitious $1.8-billion initiative is modernizing energy plants in five locations — some of which date back almost a century — to provide heating and/or cooling for more than 80 buildings in the nation’s capital, including Parliament. The upgrades will lower operating costs for taxpayers and help reduce the Canadian government’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This design-build-finance-operate P3 is set to reach substantial completion in 2025, followed by 30 years of operations and maintenance. The awards committee noted the project is complex because it involves the private sector mitigating risks from federal and interprovincial brownfield construction, six years of interim operations during construction, as well as factoring in protections for heritage assets. It also has built in flexibility to potentially expand the modernized district energy system to other public and private buildings in the region.

Partners: Public Works and Government Services Canada and Innovate Energy

Regina Bypass (Infrastructure Gold Award)

Opened in 2019 after four years of construction, the Regina Bypass is the largest transportation infrastructure project in Saskatchewan history and its single largest job creator. Improving traffic safety and mobility were the key drivers for the project, the awards committee noted. Previously, residents and visitors to the communities east of Regina had to cross the TransCanada Highway on non-signalized at-grade intersections, potentially in inclement weather with poor visibility. Since the bypass was completed, there has been a marked reduction in collisions. The $1.88-billion project involved building 12 interchanges, 60 kilometres of four-lane highway, 55 kilometres of new service roads, twinning on Highway 6, as well as the province’s first roundabouts. It also uses state-of-the-art technology to improve safety such as traffic cameras and a road weather information system.

Partners: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways & Infrastructure, SaskBuilds and Regina Bypass Partners

Corner Brook Acute Care Hospital (Project Development Silver Award)

The project involves the development of a new 164 bed acute care regional hospital to serve the people of western Newfoundland. The project is the largest capital project ever contemplated in Newfoundland and Labrador and faces the challenge of being constructed in a lightly populated area. Using the P3 model for the project is estimated to have resulted in cost savings of $90 million compared with traditional procurement. The awards committee noted the project is using technology to find innovative design, operational and environmental solutions to help in the delivery of care, as well as in reducing long-term operational costs and the site’s carbon footprint.

Partners: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Western Regional Health Authority and the Corner Brook Health Partnership

Highway 104 Sutherlands River to Antigonish Twinning Project (Project Development Silver Award)

The twinning of this stretch of Nova Scotian highway, from the boundary with New Brunswick to Antigonish, has been a significant community concern for years to help reduce fatal collisions. It is also the first highway P3 project in the province in more than 20 years and was one of the first P3 projects to reach financial close last spring in the midst of highly volatile financial market conditions caused by the pandemic. Among other things, the awards committee noted that considerable cooperation and flexibility were required by all parties including government, bank lenders and bond underwriters/purchasers to close the project —— and with no impact on overall project duration.

Partners: Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Dexter Nova Alliance GP (DNA)