A vital all-season road connecting remote communities in Canada’s North and a cutting-edge archive that is protecting Canada’s heritage and cultural treasures are among the five winners of the 2019 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 handed out at CCPPP’s 27th annual conference on Monday, November 18 in Toronto at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.
The five infrastructure projects, located in the Northwest Territories, Quebec, Alberta and Ontario, 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. “We are quickly approaching the 30-year mark for the use of P3s in Canada and have 285 projects in operation or under construction, which is why it’s so exciting to see there are still new ways the public and private sectors and Indigenous communities can work together to find innovative and sustainable approaches to developing, financing and maintaining public infrastructure that achieves the best outcomes for Canadians.”
GOLD AWARD WINNERS
Gordie Howe International Bridge Project (Project Financing Award): This international crossing, which will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and the first new major trade link between the United States and Canada in four decades, represents one of the largest recent private financings of a P3 in Canada with a total project cost of CAD$5.7 billion.
The binational and high-profile nature of this project posed some “interesting challenges” for the team to overcome from working with two different sets of codes, regulations, standards, taxation systems and currencies to environmental issues and border security, the awards committee said. The project itself was very large and technically complex involving a large bridge span, highway works and two ports of entry. The step-up step-down security package provided to lenders is unique and the project is the first Canadian P3 to use a non-traditional foreign exchange risk framework to balance fluctuating currency prices, setting a precedent for future cross-border transactions.
Partners: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America
Tljcho All-Season Road (Project Development Award): This 97-kilometre all-season gravel highway, which will link the remote northern community of Whatì with its neighbours in the Northwest Territories, is among the first P3s in North America with an Indigenous government that has a cash-funded equity stake in the project.
“This is a project that includes substantive benefits for the Indigenous community throughout the construction and operation of the project,” the awards committee said. The project is also notable for its unique approach to handling long-term risks related to climate change, which is happening at an unprecedented rate in the North. To address this challenge, the territorial government worked with its advisers and a climate specialist to develop a “bespoke climate change risk-sharing regime” using cutting-edge modelling, enabling the partners to more efficiently price their potential exposure to this risk for long-term operations and maintenance of a road constructed above the permafrost. This climate change risk-sharing model could be used to help other projects globally.
Partners: Government of the Northwest Territories and North Star Infrastructure GP
The three Silver Award Winners are Library and Archives Canada’s Gatineau 2 Project (Project Development Award); The New Toronto Courthouse (Project Development Award); and Stoney CNG Bus Storage and Transit Facility (Infrastructure Award).