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Private financing collapse leaves BC bridge as fully public project, saving taxpayers $200 million

Quebec P3 megaprojects also on shaky ground.

BC Transportation Minister Kevin FalconMarch 2, 2009 — The British Columbia government will borrow to pay for a $2.5 billion bridge expansion itself, after shaky P3 financing collapsed last week.

The privatized financing for the Port Mann bridge fell apart last Friday — just weeks after the provincial government bailed the project out, guaranteeing $1.15 billion of the cash the private sector was trying to raise.

The global credit crunch has hit the project's private-sector financier, Australian investment bank Macquarie Group, hard. The bank has been struggling with major financial problems in recent weeks.

The province' minister of transportation and infrastructure, Kevin Falcon, says "a traditionally financed arrangement is the better way to proceed at the current time." The private sector will be involved in designing and building the bridge, which will be publicly owned and operated.

The development is a blow to the government and Partnerships BC, the provincial agency promoting P3s. However, Partnerships BC head Larry Blain is still touting P3s for other infrastructure development.

In Quebec,the province's health minister is worried P3 financing is on the rocks for two Montreal megahospitals. . .

To read further, please click on the link below. . .

Links and sources
  Major BC P3 deal falls apart, by CUPE, March 2 2009
  Further reading: More absurdity with P3s, by Toby Sanger, Progressive Economics Forum, March 4 2009

Posted: March 05, 2009

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