Negative public opinion and political opposition are serious obstacles to all proposed P3 projects. Without public support and a political champion, projects can be stalled or abandoned in favor of traditional, yet less effective, methods of procurement.
One experience public sector leader is David Caplan, former Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal for the Province of Ontario, architect of the innovative long-term infrastructure investment plan ReNew Ontario and current vice chair of Global Public Affairs. Caplan was faced with significant political and public opposition to using P3s to address Ontario’s infrastructure deficit.
“There was a pragmatic need to move forward with P3s in Ontario, yet there was significant public and political apprehension due to misinformation from critics and the growing pains associated with introducing a brand new way of conducting project procurement,” Caplan said. “After extensive public outreach and coalition-building, we were eventually able to turn the tide of public opinion and go on to build and rehabilitate 30 hospitals in Ontario using the P3 model.”
Caplan will discuss his “sword and shield approach” to deflect P3 criticism in more detail during the P3 Connect session “Developing the Political Will for P3s.” He will be joined by Representative Max Tyler, chairman of the Colorado House of Representatives Transportation & Energy Committee, and Phil Washington, general manager and CEO of the Denver Regional Transportation District. Jim Mulligan, partner at Snell & Wilmer, will moderate the session.
Mulligan will introduce attendees to some of the inherent challenges in pursuing a P3 model and will lead the panelists in a general discussion about lessons learned from the panelists’ projects. Tyler and Washington will speak to their experience with Colorado’s U.S. 36 Corridor and Eagle P3 projects.
Click here for more information about these and other sessions at P3 Connect, taking place next week, July 28-30, in Denver, CO.