Jun 062004


This is in follow-up to my email,  “Hamilton Water – costs $2800 to Find out.  This is how PPP’s work”,   Mon 31/05/2004.  In which I wrote:

“Governments promote Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s or P3s) – I am told they have a Department now for this purpose”.

… Today I wanted to find out:  does such a Department really exist?   What I found is the “Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships”.


P3s are usually associated with projects such as water supply (Hamilton example), and Toll Highways.   Our work on RR wheat has been a lesson on P3s:  another lesson (in addition to Hamilton) on how P3s work in reality (not as in the rhetoric).

IS the relationship of the Govt of Canada with companies like Monsanto a P3 (PPP or Public Private Partnership)?  … I don’t see a distinction between the production of concrete objects such as water infrastructure and highways, and investment in research, so to me the relationship with Monsanto IS another example of a P3.  In the end there are products (research, RR canola, RR wheat) through a collaborative and integrated effort between industry and government.

As you know,  I think that this “partnering” between Government and business is not in the public interest.  The Government loses its ability to regulate.  Systems of both governance and business become corrupted.

Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with my head?!  What I see is the wielding of fear as an instrument of coercion. … Turn this over to corporations or you will lose your healthcare and social programmes (Government can’t afford both).  Corporations are on the “leading edge”, not Governments, so we HAVE TO go this route or we will languish in poverty.

OTHER COUNTRIES will take our markets so we have to do this.

The attitude is also based on ignorance.  (Not that I have a corner on the truth!)  Refer to author Jane Jacobs, “Systems of Survival:  a Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics”.  We fail to distinguish between the functions of Government and Commerce at our peril (discussed in earlier emails).  P3s fly full in the face of this wisdom.

In the promotion of P3s, the critical questions are not discussed.  Real cost information is not disclosed (a big part of the Meridian dam battle was to force realistic cost and benefit figures on the Government, to refuse to let them get away with over-stating benefits while under-stating costs, thereby justifying the project).  In Hamilton, a City Councillor has to pay $2800 to obtain actual costs of the contract between the City and the company to which the water service has been contracted. In P3s, as with Government funding and promotion of genetic manipulation, there has been a paucity of public disclosure, debate and decision.  Government and big business have worked together, made P3s a reality.  It is delivered to you and to me, a fait accompli.

I have copied some information from the “Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships” below.  By putting “Government of Canada P3s” into the Google search engine more information is available  if you want more.

You make your own decisions.   Enough from me.





I was told that the Government of Canada has a Department or agency for the promotion of P3s.  I do not know if there is such a Department.  If not, there may as well be one, based on the web information for the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.  See the list of “Public Members” and the “Sponsoring Companies” copied further down.



“In an increasingly competitive global environment, governments around the world are focusing on new ways to finance projects, build infrastructure and deliver services. Public-private partnerships (PPP’s or P3’s) are becoming a common tool to bring together the strengths of both sectors. In addition to maximizing efficiencies and innovations of private enterprise, PPP’s can provide much needed capital to finance government programs and projects, thereby freeing public funds for core economic and social programs.

Three countries stand out as world leaders in the number and scale of PPP’s – the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States (primarily in water & wastewater), although many other countries have successfully implemented PPP projects and are benefiting from the results. What tends to distinguish the leader countries (UK and Australia) is that PPP activity is conducted through a comprehensive government program rather than on a one-off basis as we have tended to do in Canada and the USA.

Canada has developed considerable expertise in the PPP field, both domestically and internationally, and increasingly this is being done through coordinated provincial programs. A recent Council publication entitled “100 Projects: Selected Public-Private Partnerships Across Canada,” shows that PPP’s have become a successful vehicle to deliver public services in over 25 distinct sectors, at all levels of government. Canada has many high profile projects, such as the Confederation Bridge, Highway 407 Electronic Toll Route, Moncton Water Treatment Plant, St. Lawrence Seaway Commercialization, Kelowna Skyreach Place and Bruce Nuclear Power Plant lease. They demonstrate that PPP’s continue to be valuable contributors to our country’s economic health.”


Public/Non-Profit Members

(link no longer valid)

Alberta Finance

Alberta Infrastructure

Alberta Transportation

Association of Colleges of Applied Arts & Technology of Ontario (ACAATO)

Avalon East School Board

BC Buildings Corporation

BC Construction Association

BC Legislative Library

BC Ministry of Finance

BC Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management

Bridges (Marine Technology Alliance Building & Marketing Initiative)

Calgary Board of Education

Calgary Health Region

Canada Lands Company

Canadian Construction Association

Canmore Economic Development Authority

Capital Health Authority

Centennial College

Centre for Addiction & Mental Health

City of Chilliwack

City of Cornwall

City of Cranbrook

City of Edmonton

City of Guelph

City of Hamilton

City of Kelowna

City of Leduc

City of London

City of Mississauga

City of Moncton

City of Ottawa

City of Peterborough

City of Port Moody

City of Prince George

City of Surrey

City of Thunder Bay

City of Toronto

City of Vaughan

Conseil des Écoles Publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Consulting Engineers of British Columbia

Council of Ontario Universities

Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan

Fraser Health Centre Project

Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère des Transports

Gouvernement du Québec, Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor

Gouvernment du Québec, Société immobilière du Québec

Government of Canada, Industry Canada

Government of Canada, Infrastructure Canada

Government of Canada, National Defence

Government of Canada, Public Works & Government Services

Government of Canada, Transport Canada

Halifax Regional Municipality

Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation

Jasper National Park

McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) – Planning Office

NB Business New Brunswick

NWT Municipal & Community Affairs

Ontario Financing Authority

Ontario Good Roads Association

Ontario Hospital Association

Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Ontario Ministry of Culture

Ontario Ministry of Finance

Ontario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association

Operating Engineers’ Pension Plan

Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Provincial Health Services Authority

Queen’s University School of Urban and Regional Planning

Regional Municipality of York

Sault Area Hospital

Toronto Grace Hospital

Toronto Medical Laboratories

Town of Canmore

Town of Goderich

Town of Markham

Town of Richmond Hill

University of Alberta, Finance & Administration

University of British Columbia Campus & Community Planning

Wilfrid Laurier University

William Osler Health Centre

Yukon Department of Economic Development



(link no longer valid)

The Council thanks the following sponsor members for their continuing support:

ABN-AMRO Bank N.V., Canada Branch

Aecon Group Inc.


Bennett Jones LLP

Bilfinger Berger BOT Inc.

BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.

Bombardier Transportation

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borealis Capital Corporation

Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls

Bull, Housser & Tupper

Carillion Canada Inc.

CH2M HILL Canada Limited

CIBC World Markets Inc.

CIT Structured Finance

Davis & Company

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Ernst & Young Corporate Finance Inc.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP

Goodmans LLP

Government of Ontario

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Macquarie North America Ltd.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

McMillan Binch LLP

NATIONAL Public Relations

Ogilvy Renault

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

P3 Advisors Inc.

Power LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers Securities Inc.

RBC Capital Markets

Scotia Capital Inc.


Serco Group, Inc.

SNC-Lavalin Inc.

Torys LLP

United Water

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