Planning RFP eyed for Ontario HSR

A request for proposals (RFP) is being planned before the end of the year to provide environmental assessment and planning for Ontario’s High Speed Rail Project, with the possibility of P3 financing remaining an option for the scheme.

Speaking at the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) conference in Toronto, representatives from the Ontario government said that the tender could be issued in December as plans proceed with the delivery of the proposals.

“We are working on the planning and environmental assessment, and we are also certainly working on the standards for high speed rail corridor,” said Jennifer Graham Harkness, project director, High Speed Rail, Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

David Collenette, the ministry’s special advisor for High Speed Rail, also told P3 Bulletin that the plans had a sound business case to proceed and would be a viable option for partnership with the private sector.

“I just don’t see the government using 100% financing for a project of this magnitude,” he said. “The Liberal government since 2003 have made their preference known with over 100 projects using alternative financing schemes and P3s.

“By getting the private sector in you will be getting better discipline in terms of delivering the project on time and on budget.

Collenette carried out a report into the delivery of the province’s HSR project, which was issued in May. Last month Premier Kathleen Wynn announced plans to bring the service to the Toronto-Windsor corridor by establishing a Planning Advisory Board to provide strategic support on the landmark project.