Province cancels public-private partnership strategy for Deerfoot Trail upgrades

·1 min read
The Alberta government has cancelled plans to use a public-private partnership (P3) to help pay for improvements to Calgary's Deerfoot Trail. (CBC - image credit)
The Alberta government has cancelled plans to use a public-private partnership (P3) to help pay for improvements to Calgary's Deerfoot Trail. (CBC - image credit)

The Alberta government has decided to scrap the idea of using a public-private partnership to help pay for improvements to Deerfoot Trail in Calgary.

Instead, it says it will carry out projects along the corridor in smaller pieces.

The province says economic conditions have resulted in pricing volatility and historically high inflation in the construction industry. And that means a public-private partnership is not viable and won't save taxpayers money.

"We committed that we would only pursue P3s when we found value for taxpayer money," said Alberta Transportation Minister Prasad Panda in a statement.

Alberta Transportation says work is underway to identify which areas of Deerfoot Trail need the most immediate help, but there's no timeframe being offered. The highway is considered the busiest in the province.

Lorne Dach, the Alberta NDP's transportation critic, said the cancellation is good news for Calgarians and called on the UCP government to drop the P3 approach from all projects, including schools and road improvements.

"Projects built by an Alberta NDP government will always be directly accountable to taxpayers," Dach said.

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