Head of Torys' Private-Public Partnerships practice and co-head of the firm's Infrastructure and Energy practice Mark Bain sat down with The Construction Record podcast to reflect on the current state of P3s in Canada and share his thoughts on the future of the sector.
In Episode 224 of the podcast, Mark said that Canada's strong support from private and public sectors has been helpful for P3s in overcoming the challenges and risks faced in the last few years, including the stresses from COVID-19.
Mark observed that as the market has evolved, projects are becoming larger and more complex in comparison to previous projects that followed a different model and in turn are welcoming new risks.
"Along the way, we did a lot of projects with tremendous success and maybe there was little bit of thinking that all problems have been solved," Mark said.
"I think public authorities started to get attracted to the idea of templates and precedents and that all projects can be done the same way as the last one.
"That maybe was an ambitious assumption in the face of trying to do bigger projects and trying to tighten up the model and make the model and contractual terms a little more rigid. So, there is more risk, and the management of risk is a little more complicated."
Mark explained that what's happening now is the idea of re-opening some of the truths that we thought were sacrosanctum and didn't have to be modified no matter what happened in the market or what happened in the infrastructure sector.
"We're now seeing the rise of things like more collaborative models and rethinking of things that once worked but now in a more challenging environment are not working so well. Having said that, the principles of P3 remain valid," Mark said.
You can read more about our Public-Private Partnerships work on our practice page.
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