Ontario doubles-down on wasteful P3 privatization for Finch West LRT

NDP Urban Transit critic Cheri DiNovo today urged the Liberal government to listen to Ontario’s Auditor-General, and re-think its wasteful P3 privatization plan for the Finch West LRT.

“The Auditor-General said this government may have wasted as much as $8 billion on public-private partnerships. But instead of re-thinking their costly and risky approach, the Liberals are doubling down,” said DiNovo. “P3s mean we get less public transit and less public oversight, while the banks get more public money.”  

Last December, Ontario’s Auditor-General warned the government that Infrastructure Ontario could demonstrate no value for the extra $8 billion it spent to procure 74 infrastructure projects via public-private partnership rather than through traditional public methods. This $8 billion was equivalent to a 30% cost overrun on every single P3 project, and most of it represented the additional costs of private financing compared to public borrowing.

Instead of listening to the Auditor-General’s warnings, the Liberals have yet again placed more value in privatization than in the everyday needs of Ontarians.

Infrastructure Ontario today announced a Request for Qualifications, officially kicking off the P3 procurement process for the long-delayed Finch West LRT.

Infrastructure Ontario is currently fighting a Freedom-of-Information request by the Ontario NDP for documents related to the Eglinton-Crosstown and the value-for-money process used to justify P3 procurement.