P3 2019 conference under way in Toronto

The Hon. John Manley and National Inuit Leader Natad Obed have opened proceedings for the 990 infrastructure experts attending P3 2019 in Toronto.

For the next two days, the 27th Annual CCPPP Conference on Public Private partnerships meets to explore Canadian and global infrastructure and associated partnerships. 

Introductions to the day have included the necessity for P3 projects in Canada, including the 242 projects currently underway, at a value of CAD139.4bn, along with the strength of Canada’s position in the PPP world, and plans to export Ontario’s P3 program globally, as other Canadian P3 structures have been.

The conference will focus further on fiscal restraints, future proofing infrastructure for climate change, project balance, the shortage in skilled trades, major transit projects and delivering infrastructure with and for Indigenous communities. Later sessions include a panel on companies leaving and expanding in P3.

Inuit Leader Natan Obed has begun by discussing the politicization of the Inuit, including the series of Inuit agreements made between 1975-2004- and aims to form a closer relationship with the Canadian government despite historic differences. He noted the CAD3bn assets in trusts, and efforts to develop the skills and talents of the Inuit workforce, perhaps an answer to the skills shortages highlighted earlier. 

Obed called for better connectivity, bold and innovative P3 opportunities, and answers to the basic lack of infrastructure for Inuits.Moving to a solutions focus, Obed announced plans for an Inuit-governed university in the arctic within 10 years, alongside ambitions to replicate Canadian infrastructure in Inuit communities, and expand infrastructure into the Arctic Circle. 

Noting Chinese, US and EU arctic expansion policies, with China Investing $1trillion in projects, the Inuit are looking to work with Canada to enhance Canada's position in the region. Obed said “The sovereign implications and economic opportunities (of the arctic) are only realised by supporting the Inuit”, and called for the Inuit and Canada to share the opportunities and advantages.