The 6th Annual Project Finance presentation, Ontario
Innovation in Infrastructure FinanceForum, in
conjunction with Infrastructure Ontario recently took place at the
Hilton Hotel in Toronto. BLG is proud to have participated in this
conference which was opened by The Honorable Mr. Glen Murray,
Ontario's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Conference was chaired by BLG partner Heather Douglas. A
session on "Debt Panel: Bottoming Out?" was moderated by
BLG partner Bruce Fowler which looked at the state of the debt
capital markets and implications for infrastructure projects. BLG
partner Rick Shaban moderated a session on "Healthcare:
Renewed Focus" which looked at the shift in procurement
methods applied to healthcare and newer asset types.
In his opening address, Minister Murray encouraged members of
the infrastructure finance community to keep up with the
"age of acceleration". He said Ontario has experienced a
fundamental shift from a production economy to an economy of
innovation, and infrastructure and finance professionals need
to form new dynamic relationships to adapt to the evolving state of
Canadian infrastructure policy. He also mentioned the Ontario
government is looking for bold ideas and is ready to support
aspirational designs, particularly those that utilize
Canadian-sourced materials and deliver lasting aesthetic and
socio-cultural benefits. The Minister challenged attendees to get
people talking about infrastructure, to find ways to bring the
private sector to the design table and to increase the level of
innovation in our design concepts. Together, he suggested, we can
make infrastructure in Ontario valuable and beautiful and by doing
so, drive the economy in our province forward.
Importantly, the Conference highlighted the financial capacity
available for the right infrastructure projects as well as the
interest in expanding the AFP project delivery models. In
fact, some speakers noted that the AFP models have gained
favourable recognition in many jurisdictions outside of Ontario and
the models have been extended to new asset classes in the social
infrastructure, transportation and municipal sectors.
An increased emphasis on project design as a possible future
direction was mentioned by Mr. John McKendrick, the Executive Vice
President of Major Projects with Infrastructure Ontario (IO) who
stated that IO is continuing to press forward to meet the
objectives established by the Ministry of Infrastructure with
efficiency. IO is in the process of analyzing 30 of its projects
undertaken using the Ontario model and it anticipates publishing a
report in the near future outlining the successes and challenges of
the program since its inception
Mr. McKendrick noted that the mandate of the program has turned
to new goals including the improvement of transit infrastructure,
updating energy infrastructure, justice and correctional facilities
and creating new jobs.
In terms of possible future financing trends, a number of
speakers suggested, for a variety of reasons, including appropriate
risk allocation and oversight, that the proportion of private
sector financing to government funding should be in the range of at
least 40% to 50%. In addition, the suggestion was made that federal
and provincial funding should be provided throughout the
maintenance term as well as for the construction period. As the
Ontario models continue to evolve, it will be interesting to learn
if these predicted trends are incorporated.
The Canadian Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions ("OSFI") recently ruled that a bank cannot promote comprehensive credit insurance ("CCI") within its Canadian branches under the Insurance Business (Banks and Bank Holdings Companies) Regulations (the "Regulations").
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).