Public-private partnerships (P3’s) have cost Ontario taxpayers nearly $8-billion more on infrastructure over the past nine years than if the government had successfully built the projects itself. $6.5 billion of the overpayment of $8 billion comes from the higher borrowing costs of P3’s relative to traditional government infrastructure financing.
The revelation, from Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report, comes as Premier Kathleen Wynne stakes the province’s future on a vast construction program that will see dozens of new schools, bridges and subways built over the next decade using the P3 model.
And the report strongly suggests that the Liberal Government can build that infrastructure more cheaply using conventional public sector financing. The current Ontario deficit stands at $12.5-billion. Continue reading