Today, Premier Brian Pallister and Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced the province would pursue alternative approaches to meeting Manitoba’s infrastructure needs. The province selected KPMG LLP as the successful bidder to develop a business case for the Manitoba Schools Project under a Public Private Partnership (P3) framework, advancing the province’s knowledge base for potential future P3 projects.
“We are pleased to have selected KPMG through a fully competitive process to study the suitability of P3s for the Manitoba Schools Project,” said Pallister. “Our government is committed to making strategic investments in infrastructure that maximize return on investment and promote economic growth in our communities. We owe it to Manitobans to consider pragmatic and innovative approaches to deliver quality infrastructure on time and on budget.”
The province will work with KPMG to determine possible P3 models for the Manitoba Schools Project and explore the P3 industry through a market sounding process. Stakeholder consultations and risk workshops will be held. A public sector comparator and shadow bid will be developed to ensure thorough analysis and an evidence-based decision-making approach to the project. If there is demonstrated value for money, a business case summary will be made public, said Pallister.
“By exploring a new channel for funding infrastructure, we are tapping into Manitoba’s potential to find creative solutions,” said Pallister. “This will help us determine approaches that go beyond the traditional taxpayer-funded model, recognizing that the private sector can play an important role in ensuring Manitobans receive value for their infrastructure investments.”
The contract is scheduled to begin August 1st, and the business case is expected to be developed by the end of 2017.
“We are committed to delivering quality new learning environments in the most cost-effective way,” said Wishart. “KPMG has demonstrated significant experience in P3 projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan schools and is well-suited to determine whether the Manitoba Schools Project is suitable for a P3 delivery model.”
On May 12th, the province announced the Manitoba Schools Project and released a competitive request for proposals to develop a P3 business case and financial advisory services for constructing new schools with a total value of over $100 million.
At the time of the province’s announcement, CUPE Manitoba released a statement voicing concern at the decision to explore a P3 option on the project. One issue that CUPE contested was that the P3 model resulted in Nova Scotia buying back public schools at a cheaper cost than extending the private contracts.
Photo Credit: Manning Centre c/o: Jake Wright