Numerous P3 arenas have been abandoned by the private sector in Canada.
Experiences in communities such as Guelph, Victoria, Cranbrook, Port Alberni, Maple Ridge, and elsewhere, provide important lessons for the City of Oshawa.
The higher cost of borrowing by the private partner and the need to generate profits make the projects more expensive, explaining in part why they fail. The projects would have cost less and been more sustainable had they been publicly financed.
P3s result in increased public costs, hide debt, reduce accountability, and do not provide value for money. They cheapen the labour pool and compromise quality and access to City services, with negative impacts on the community.
Once a deal stops being profitable, the record shows that it is the public partner who is ultimately responsible, and the taxpayer who pays.
The City of Oshawa should pursue the reliable and affordable alternatives to P3 financing that exist, both to expand its sports and recreation facilities and to revitalize the community’s downtown core.
This report provides ample evidence that P3 recreational facilities increase costs and rarely turn out as planned.
When the private partner abandons the project, unable to earn profit, the city is left to pick up the mess that the private company leaves behind.