British Columbia a Model for Public-Private Partnerships

U.S. states and officials are looking North to Canada where public-private partnerships have successfully funded infrastructure projects for years in British Columbia.

"The Canada Line, a $2 billion light transit system running between Vancouver's downtown waterfront and the city's airport, is the latest in a string of public-private partnerships, or P3s, built in B.C. and being touted as a model for rebuilding America's infrastructure."

"Governor Schwarzenegger toured the Canada Line project site two years ago alongside Premier Campbell and has since been promoting B.C.'s experience as a template for financing and building public sector projects in California. He reiterated his praise for B.C.'s infrastructure partnerships following a meeting with President Obama last month to discuss future infrastructure projects – beyond the $787 billion federal stimulus package – that also included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell."

"While public-private partnerships are still a relatively new concept in the United States, British Columbia has been using the P3 model for several years."

"Since 2002, British Columbia has pumped nearly $10 billion (Canadian; US$8.1 billion) into infrastructure financing – 50 percent of it supplied by the private sector. The province has been at the forefront of the Canadian scramble to team the public and private sectors – making the country a world leader in its pursuit of P3s – with projects from Alberta to Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland."

Full Story: In Canada, an innovative way to rebuild roads, hospitals

Comments

Comments

Do not repeat

P3s have been a bit of a disaster lately. I would caution against repeating the experiment elsewhere.

The biggest benefit of P3s was the offloading of risk onto private companies, but what we've realized here in Vancouver is that when the project has problems, the companies declare bankruptcy, and the government gets to clean up the mess. So really, the private sector takes none of the risk, but all of the rewards. Do a search for "vancouver olympic village p3" for more details.

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