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PC government gets schooled on P3s: McAllister

EDMONTON, AB (OCTOBER 28, 2013): The PC government needs to reconsider the debt-financing of P3s and look into alternative means of building schools after reports confirmed Alberta Infrastructure will be unable to complete 19 schools on time, Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister said today. 

Reports indicate Alberta Infrastructure informed school boards two weeks ago that it will likely be unable to complete 19 schools on time as promised this fall. The news comes as class sizes continue to grow exponentially across the province. “After all the fanfare for building Alberta, after all the cheerleading for debt financing of infrastructure through P3s, this government can’t get the job done when it matters,” McAllister said. “The PC government has been schooled by the facts of life and hopefully has learned that P3s aren’t the magical solution to building infrastructure.” The PC government promised 19 new schools this fall, but because of a hot economy, only one consortium expressed interest. Without any competition, the government effectively has a sole-sourced deal, Wildrose Infrastructure Critic Drew Barnes said. “This government needs to rethink its preoccupation with P3 debt financing and come back to the table with a solution to get these schools built on time. With Design-Build or Design-Bid-Build options available for these 19 schools, the government has no excuse for such careless infrastructure building,” Barnes said. “Schools across the province are literally bursting at the seams with students sitting two to a desk. Now is not the time to be stalled by government incompetence and carelessness.”