Global credit crisis puts P3 projects on shaky ground

VANCOUVER — There are certain camps that believe public-private partnerships (P3) will play a big part in rebuilding the continents infrastructure issues.

Opponents of the philosophy were handed another arguing point recently as the global credit crisis threatened a number of P3 projects in B.C.

International banks are usually tapped to fund the large-scale infrastructure projects and one such bank – Depfa Bank – need some bail out money from the German government and a couple of other European banks to get the cash it needed to support major financing deals.

Without the money, B.C.’s $800 million Golden Ears Bridge project would have been in jeopardy, as well as two hospital projects.

The province’s Finance Minister Colin Hansen is not as concerned as his critics. He noted in the Vancouver Sun that the money is now in place and the payments are backed by large institutions because of the province’s triple-A credit rating.

The New Democratic Party finance critic Bruce Ralston is unconvinced and insists the province is not immune from the global turmoil.

— with files from the Vancouver Sun

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