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One of the consultant’s reports released today on the proposed Halifax convention centre confirms the P3 option would be the more expensive one for taxpayers.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “This confirms what we have been saying about this project.  The consultant has agreed with us that the public option is cheaper.”

Page 51 of the Criterion Report states:

  • P3s: While public/private partnerships have been successfully applied to
    various areas of public facility development, there are challenges associated with
    their use for the development of convention centres.

The major issue is the lack of any inherent mechanism for payment of the private partner other than direct payment by government itself (as direct user fees do not figure in the economics of today’s convention market).

Other factors include the fact that governments in Canada typically have access to a lower cost of money than do private companies and there is little opportunity for risk transfer as few developers are interested in the ongoing operation of a convention centre.

Cavanagh says, “CUPE has never been opposed to a new convention centre per se, if there proves to be a good business case for the project, but it should be publicly owned and operated if we want to get the best possible deal.”

A full copy of the Criterion Report can be found at:


For information:

Danny Cavanagh    
President, CUPE Nova Scotia    
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)    

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)