P3 roads no answer to province’s transit woes

July 14, 2016

For Immediate Release

Halifax, NS – NDP Leader Gary Burrill is disappointed the Liberals continue to propose the use of P3s (Public Private Partnerships) to rebuild the province’s infrastructure.  A feasibility study released today on eight proposed toll roads in the province confirms that the Liberal government is considering P3s.

In September 2014, a report about P3s was prepared for the Premier’s Office by Peter Vaughan, Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness. In the report, Vaughan states that private financiers provided only $66 million for the Cobequid Pass, a P3 project, while highway users have paid more than $300 million in tolls.

“The evidence on highway P3s shows that people pay far more than the cost of the project,” says Burrill.  “The question before us is about ownership.  Whether there are tolls or not, the highways should be publicly owned and operated.”

In November 2015, the NDP introduced legislation to create a Provincial Financial Accountability Officer, similar to a position that exists in Ontario.  This Accountability Officer would report directly to the legislature about the true, long-term costs of P3s.

“From P3 schools to toll highways, history has shown us that the P3 approach contains significant risks. This is one of the reasons the NDP introduced a bill to create a Provincial Financial Accountability Officer, so that deals of this sort can be independently reviewed before committing public dollars,” said NDP Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Critic Sterling Belliveau.

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For more information please contact Kaley Kennedy at (902) 830-8748