Canada’s municipalities own and operate the majority of Canada’s public infrastructure, including roads and bridges, public transit, and water and wastewater systems.
With aging infrastructure, growing populations, and the need to balance operating budgets and manage debt levels in a post-pandemic world, Canadian municipalities are faced with complex, difficult decisions. Inflation, increasing commodity prices, labour shortages and other more local issues are only adding to this strain to deliver the infrastructure and services Canadians need.
A 2023 Statistics Canada report found core public infrastructure in Canada, excluding hospitals, schools, courthouses and affordable housing, had a total replacement value of $2.1 trillion at the end of 2020.
Municipalities owned 61.7% of that total estimated replacement value — $1.328 trillion! The issue is especially acute for rural municipalities despite accounting for less than 18% of Canada's population.
Public-private partnerships (P3s) can and have been an effective tool to deliver projects and manage life cycle costs and risk by building on the expertise of both the public and private partners. With more than 50 municipal P3s conducted to date, there is a proven track record in delivering successful municipal assets and services across the country.