Blog | October 16, 2012

By Robson Fletcher, Metro CalgaryMayor Naheed Nenshi doesn�t want Calgary to end up cornered into a public-private partnership in order to qualify for federal funding to expand LRT lines, as an advocacy group says happened in Edmonton.�Right now, the real problem is that the only dedicated federal funding at this moment is through P3 Canada,� Nenshi said Tuesday.�I will be in Ottawa in November to really press the federal government to renew their other infrastructure programs and to create a dedicated fund for transit.�Ottawa�s P3 Canada Fund is aimed at promoting at least partial private-sector involvement in public projects.But Public Interest Alberta (PIA) alleges federal officials pressured Edmonton city councillors into agreeing to a major privatization of its expanded LRT line, including private operation of transit service.Edmonton�s initial application didn�t include private operation, said PIA executive director Bill Moore-Kilgannon, but councillors then changed their minds at a behind-closed-doors meeting on Aug. 29.Nenshi said he�s not opposed to public-private partnerships per se, but the approach doesn�t appear to make sense for transit expansion in Calgary.�They�re very, very big and complex projects and we haven�t really seen that the savings are there,� Nenshi said.Ald. Shane Keating said he�s open to private partnership, especially if it helps accelerate a southeast LRT line.�P3s may be the way to go,� he said.By Robson Fletcher, Metro CalgaryThis article was published in Metro Calgary on October 16, 2012. Read the full article here.