Feb 27, 2009

Death of a P3


And so the P3 financing deal for the Port Mann Super-Bridge died, conveniently right when it will get the least media coverage. Here’s the breaking news from the Sun:

The province has been unable to reach a finance-arranging deal with the consortium that was to build the new Port Mann Bridge, transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced Friday.

The provincial government will now finance the entire $3.3 billion project, and is hoping to recoup the money through tolls.

It is a black eye for the Liberal government, which had touted P3s (public-private partnerships) as the way to build infrastructure without the government assuming any financial risks.

And so it is, as it should be – the government will build the bridge – well, except for the tolls. Why should this one bridge be subject to tolls, especially since it is the Trans-Canada Highway, and not others?

But that is beside the point: I think building this new super-bridge will be a colossal waste of money that will entrench unsustainble forms of development further up the valley, choking off more farmland just at the time when we need more local sources of food.

But, hey, there is an election on, and there are a lot of votes on the other side of that bridge.

Topics: ,