Ontario Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott and Infrastructure Ontario CEO Ehren Cory joined Mark Romoff, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, to announce the Spring 2020 P3 Market update.
The update is part of the new quarterly approach to update of the P3 project pipeline in Ontario, instituted by Minister Scott in September 2019. The spring update is one of two comprehensive updates to be provided by the ministry each year, updates on the entire pipeline, complemented by two updates a year that highlight scheduling adjustments.
The Spring 2020 update includes two new additions in pre-procurement, both of which are significant transportation projects: Highway 3 from the Town of Essex to Leamington (cost estimate <$200 million), and Highway 17 from Arnprior to Renfrew (cost estimate $200-$499 million). There is also one new project listed in active procurement, the Brampton Courthouse Addition Phase 2 & Toronto Region Bail Centre. In total, there are 24 projects in pre-procurement, 13 projects in active procurement, and 13 projects in planning. The 37 projects in active and pre-procurement carry an estimated value of more than $60 billion.
Three transit projects, the Ontario Line, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, and the Scarborough Subway Extension, have been broken down into multiple contracts, with some in pre-procurement and others in active procurement.
Two projects have been removed from the project pipeline: the Hamilton light rail transit project and the Halton Region Consolidated Courthouse project. The Hamilton LRT was removed after the provincial government was made aware last fall that the overall cost of the project would be substantially higher than the original $1 billion price tag. The Halton Region Consolidated Courthouse project was removed after the Ministry of the Attorney General re-assessed its infrastructure needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cory suggested that health care project timelines could change in the fall, as the impacts of COVID-19 demonstrates the need to accelerate construction in certain regions of the province. The pipeline document itself includes a footnote caveat to that effect: “The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing timing and cost details of each project in light of the Province’s ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery work. Project updates are to be expected in IO’s Fall 2020 P3 Market Update.”