The CCPPP Announces 2019 Winners of National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in P3s

The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) announced five winners of the 2019 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships.

The five infrastructure projects, located in the Northwest Territories, Québec, Alberta and Ontario, will receive their awards at CCPPP’s 27th annual conference on November 18 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

Gold Award Winners

Gordie Howe International Bridge Project
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and Bridging North America

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(Project Financing Award): This international crossing — which will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and the first new major trade link between the United States and Canada in four decades — represents one of the largest recent private financings of a P3 in Canada with a total project cost of CAD$5.7 billion.

The binational and high-profile nature of this project posed some “interesting challenges” for the team to overcome from working with two different sets of codes, regulations, standards, taxation systems and currencies to environmental issues and border security, the awards committee said.

The project itself was very large and technically complex involving a large bridge span, highway works and two ports of entry. The step-up step-down security package provided to lenders is unique and the project is the first Canadian P3 to use a non-traditional foreign exchange risk framework to balance fluctuating currency prices, setting a precedent for future cross-border transactions.

Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Road
Partners: Government of the Northwest Territories and North Star Infrastructure GP

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(Project Development Award): This 97-kilometre all-season gravel highway, which will link the remote northern community of Whatì with its neighbours in the Northwest Territories, is among the first P3s in North America with an Indigenous government that has a cash-funded equity stake in the project.

“This is a project that includes substantive benefits for the Indigenous community throughout the construction and operation of the project,” the awards committee said.

The project is also notable for its distinct approach to handling long-term risks related to climate change, which is happening at an unprecedented rate in the North. To address this challenge, the territorial government worked with its advisers and a climate specialist to develop a “bespoke climate change risk-sharing regime” using cutting-edge modelling, enabling the partners to more efficiently price their potential exposure to this risk for long-term operations and maintenance of a road constructed above the permafrost.

Silver Award Winners

Library and Archives Canada’s Gatineau 2 Project
Library and Archives Canada and Plenary Properties Gatineau

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(Project Development Award): This new flagship building will sit next to and complement the award-winning Preservation Centre in Gatineau. It will be the first “net-zero carbon” facility dedicated to archival preservation in the Americas and the first federal building constructed to the requirements of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy.

The New Toronto Courthouse
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Infrastructure Ontario and EllisDon Infrastructure (with Renzo Piano Building Workshop and NORR Architects & Engineers Limited)

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(Project Development Award): Construction is underway on Ontario’s first high-rise courthouse in Toronto’s downtown core. The P3 project, with an estimated cost savings of $228.7 million compared to the more traditional approach to procurement, is “noteworthy for its design considerations, as well as its significant stakeholder consultations” to improve access to justice and enhance operational efficiencies, as well as commemorating the rich cultural and heritage value of the site, said the awards committee. Along with its 63 courtrooms and 10 conference rooms, the 17-storey facility will include improved security features integrated throughout the design of the courthouse and house the first Indigenous Learning Centre in an Ontario courthouse.

Stoney CNG Bus Storage and Transit Facility
The City of Calgary and Plenary Infrastructure Calgary (Plenary/PCL/JCI)

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(Infrastructure Award): This gigantic facility near the Calgary International Airport can hold more than 500 standard 12-metre buses and is the largest indoor compressed natural gas bus fueling complex in North America. Not only are the buses using greenhouse gas reducing technology, this “showpiece facility” is an “impressive example of infrastructure built and designed to incorporate sustainability,” the awards committee said, pointing to its innovative top-down ventilation design that safely and efficiently removes air contaminants, as well as its rainwater harvesting system for its bus wash system. The P3 project has an estimated cost savings of 34.7 per cent or $162.6 million compared to a traditional procurement.

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