n British Columbia, a new public-private partnership is on track to create one of the province’s most modern and cost-effective correctional centres in the Okanagan. The 378-cell, high-security, state-of-the-art facility is expected to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and over 200 correctional worker positions. Under the P3 agreement, Plenary Justice — a group made up of Plenary Group, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Honeywell, and Jug Island Consulting — takes on the responsibility to design, build, finance, and maintain the correctional centres for a 30-year term.

The P3 approach really helps government focus on large infrastructure, but at the same time, it can protect its limited capital resources. It gives the government greater certainty around the cost of delivery, as well as schedule.

P3 means getting the right people for the right jobs

Mike Houle, Vice President, Client and Market Engagement Partnerships, British Columbia, notes that P3 partnerships allow governments to get the very best people working on their projects. “The P3 partnership creates a consortia of teams all interested in bidding on our projects. Educated, informed, and experienced teams come together to work on our projects, and they take accountability for major risks like schedule and budget over the course of a 30-year agreement.”

“The biggest advantage [of P3 partnerships] is the risk transfer from the public sector to the private sector in terms of cost and schedule certainty," says Todd Craigen, Vice President and District Manager, PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. "This translates into lower capital cost expenditures, faster project delivery, and high service levels.”

Modern infrastructure projects have unique issues

Craigen has no doubt the project will be a boon for the province. “The Okanagan Corrections Centre project is a great example of partnerships within our province between the provincial government, corrections, and more importantly, the Osoyoos Indian Band on whose land the project is located. It will bring hundreds of direct and indirect jobs to the area for years to come.” Houle shares Craigen’s enthusiasm: “This project provided the government an interesting partnership opportunity. The province of B.C., the Osoyoos Indian Band, and Plenary Justice all have the chance to come together to serve the community."