The Public-Private Partnership Law Review – Canada


Nicholas Shkordoff, Helmut Johannsen and Thomas Barlow


Shkordoff, Nicholas, Helmut Johannsen and Thomas Barlow. “Canada.” The Public-Private Partnership Law Review. Eds. Bruno Werneck and Mario Saadi. Gideon Roberton. 2015. 45-57.


Gideon Roberton


March 2015


This article is part of a larger work that seeks to develop a deeper understanding of how different countries address specific matters related to Public-Private Partnerships with the aim of acting as a tool to strengthen the P3 model worldwide. The chapter summarized here focuses on the Canadian P3 market and provides a year in review for 2014, followed by a detailed explanation of the process in Canada including types of P3s, regulatory bodies, bidding and award procedures, typical contracts, financial consideration, recent court decisions and concludes with a discussion of the market's outlook. This chapter is a great introduction to the Canadian P3 market for professionals working in this space.

Key Findings


  • Canada has developed a sustained and robust P3 market for the development of infrastructure. Canadian ‘best practices’ have received recognition and attract participants from around the world.
  • The authors argue P3s are an important tool for generating investments and development and creating efficiency not only in infrastructure, but also in the provision of public services such as education and health.
  • The chapter includes a description of the general framework of P3s in Canada and finds the vast majority of projects are either DBFM or DBFMO.
  • There is no single regulatory body governing P3s in Canada but there are many actors at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. There is generally no specific P3-enabling legislation in place except to the extent required to establish the government agencies responsible for project delivery and procurement – meaning there are no legal requirements in respect of mandatory contract terms or evaluation criteria.
  • Typically, Canadian P3 projects are structured such that the majority of payments to the project company are made via availability payments from the authority over the lifetime of the concession period.
  • The authors conclude that the P3 market remains strong with numerous new projects per year and governments showing strong leadership and commitment to the model. The authors are interested in observing the continuing exploration of new ways to use the P3 model, applying it to settings which have not previously used P3s on a widespread basis, including projects for municipalities and First Nations.

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