Infrastructure Proposals from the Private Sector: would it, could it work for Burlington?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2019



This is different – very different.

The provincial government is now prepared to accept Infrastructure Proposals from the private sector.

These would be unsolicited proposals.

This is a new framework for receiving and evaluating infrastructure proposals from the private sector. These are proposals to the government that were not requested through an existing procurement.

It is a grand pier, a distinct improvement to the waterfront. It was part of the grand plan former Mayor Rob MacIsaac had for the waterfront. It ran into problems that MacIsaac's replacement couldn't manage. The current administration made mistakes of its own - the cost of which are not yet fully known. We do know what the legal fess amounted to

Could the Pier have been an Unsolicited Private Sector proposal?

This marks the first time there has been a formal process for submitting USPs to the Ontario government. Through this new approach, private-sector ideas with the potential to improve public infrastructure and related services will be considered using a consistent and fair process.

“An unsolicited proposal framework is a leading global practice to leverage the expertise of the private sector to develop innovative infrastructure solutions to benefit the people of Ontario and make government open for business,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “It provides a clear path for industry to share proposals we might otherwise not have developed on our own.”

Drury Lane bridge

Could the replacement of the Drury Lane Bridge been a project that would fall under this new provincial program?

“We will always work hard for the people, but we must acknowledge that government doesn’t always have all the answers,” continued Minister Scott. “Our new USP framework will ensure we are listening to the people and businesses that build and operate infrastructure in Ontario to find the best ideas and make them a reality.”

The program is open for all infrastructure proposals. This includes proposals for transit lines and stations, highways, health care facilities, housing supply projects, energy generation and storage projects and “digital infrastructure” (such as broadband and cellular network expansion).

The Province will focus on infrastructure projects that provide the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario, are feasible from a technical and commercial perspective, align with the government’s priorities and provide the greatest value for money for any investment of public dollars.

Potential participants can submit proposals and find more information about the program online at:

Gregory Smith, President and CEO, InstarAGF Asset Management Inc. claims that “Innovation is vital to improving the quality, value and sustainability of our infrastructure, which underpins our economic prospects and the ability of our communities to thrive. This new online portal will help to connect private expertise, creativity and capital with public infrastructure investment needs while supporting new forms of partnership and engagement, thereby contributing to a more resilient, prosperous future for Ontarians.”

What is there out there that someone thinks Burlington could use – maybe even needs that there isn’t federal or provincial funding in place for ?

Is a community that is just affordable housing possible under this program?

It will be interesting to see what the private sector in Burlington comes up with – and what MPP Jane McKenna might do to help things along.


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