Power lines

Looking to close the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities? Consider public-private partnerships.

First Nations may hold the single greatest growth market in Canada, next to municipalities, for the use of P3s, according to the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Canada is a global leader in public-private partnerships, also known as P3s or PPPs, yet only a limited number of Indigenous P3 projects have been undertaken.

P3s have the power to join Indigenous creativity, design and traditional knowledge with the expertise of seasoned private sector partners to close the infrastructure gap faced in many First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, and to help create:

  • High-quality critical infrastructure, including housing, health care facilities and schools
  • Roads, highways and bridges that will reduce isolation and connect major resource projects to the broader network
  • Renewable, clean energy projects that are more reliable and respect the environment
  • Sustainable prosperity through increased employment, training and contracting

The Vantage Advantage

As the only public affairs agency anchored in a national law firm, McMillan LLP, McMillan Vantage’s highly experienced consultants can help all parties navigate the unique complexities of building Indigenous P3 projects:

  • Identifying potential projects where a PPP model could be helpful, including bundling multiple projects to create value for money
  • Garnering insights into governmental infrastructure priorities
  • Carving space for all partners to contribute meaningfully to the project and evolving the duty to consult
  • Satisfying legal, contractual and Indigenous governance requirements
  • Assessing, allocating and managing risk

Managing director Tim Murphy, author of Public-Private Partnerships in Canada: Law, Policy and Value for Money, has amassed extensive experience advising governments, developers and lenders on public-private partnerships across Canada and internationally. Several of the Indigenous projects he has worked on include:

  • Wataynikaneyap Power, a licensed transmission company equally owned by 24 Ontario First Nations communities, which brings grid connection to 17 remote communities.
  • Alderville solar farm, the first and only solar farm in Canada that is 100% First Nation owned.
  • Tlicho all-season road to Whati in the Northwest Territories, the first time the NWT government has taken an equity role in a major construction project.

Are you interested in leading resources and expert insights on public-private partnerships? Sign up below to receive exclusive P3 content from Murphy, and other Vantage insights, such as:

  • One policy where Doug Ford and Kathleen Wynne agree — and Doug Ford improved
  • How P3s can help Indigenous reconciliation and economic development
  • Why progressives shouldn’t fear public-private partnerships