Mitchell gave the keynote address on the opening morning of the conference, which is being held live for the first time in two years following the pandemic.
In her speech, Mitchell highlighted the impact of Covid-19 and the fallout from the pandemic as among the key challenges facing the P3 market in Canada, but insisted that the model - and industry - was up to the task.
Referring to the historic view of ‘nation builders’ as those that built railroads and other infrastructure to connect Canada, Mitchell laid down a challenge to the P3 industry: “Today, we are the nation builders,” she said. “We don’t just build projects; we build Canada.”
Listing the challenges facing the P3 market in Canada, Mitchell pointed to inflation, commodity prices, and labor market shortages, but also outlined societal forces and the impact of projects that have not performed well.
“Today, we are playing into a bit of a headwind,” she concluded. “We have got to work harder, and different. Any model for the building of major projects is going to have its challenges. This is not the first time we have had to reflect and reposition ourselves. [But] the P3 model has endured.”
Meanwhile, Mark Bain, CCPPP chair for the past six years, announced he would be stepping down from that role later this month, following the organization’s next board meeting.
“At this important inflection point for the council, it is time for new leadership,” he said. However, he said he remains “bullish” on the prospects for the P3 model, adding that the industry is “ready for the next wave of P3s”.
The CCPPP conference is taking place in Toronto this week, with P3 Bulletin providing coverage of all the major announcements, with in-depth analysis and round-ups of the event’s main discussions in the weeks that follow.