Archived Winnipeg Labour Council Stories

City Councilor Warns Against 3P Disraeli Project

 

There's widespread agreement that there needs to be repairs and upgrading done to the Disraeli Freeway. The question some people are asking is whether it should be done as a public works project - or as a Public Private Partnership (P3).

Jenny Gerbasi, city councillor for Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, strongly opposes the the P3 approach. She points to another bridge project, the Charleswood bridge across the Assiniboine River, as an example of some of the problems with the public/private concept.

A report on that project thats that 10 per cent of the project cost was eaten up by the cost of preparing and evaluating the bids. The report also found that the Charleswood Bridge project cost taxpayers more than if the bridge was built publicly.

 

Lack of Transparency in PS Projects

Gerbasi says that "in spite of trying for years to find out, the detailed numbers on the Charleswood bridge are still not public information. There truly is a lack of transparency in the P3 process that concerns a lot of people.

"Recently I asked our administration if the P3 agreement for building the new Police Station was going to be made public. I was told that only the award report was made public. The full information cannot be public or even viewed by all members of council.

"The problem is members of council don't have much more than two simple words - 'trust me' - to rely on to make this decision. We as councilors are not doing our jobs properly if we blindly go along with proceeding with a P3 without the knowledge to back up the decision."

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