Private vs Public Financing


Municipalities have been under pressure to use private partner financing and P3 arrangements that are difficult to acurately assess for risks, given the provisions for secrecy in both negotiations and contracts. A recent study of P3s in British Columbia examined the costs of private financing of public projects and found that public financing is less risky and less expensive. 

Last year, Millenium Development and its financial guarantor, the City of Vancouver entered into a $750 million dollar line of credit with Fortress Investment Group to fund its Olympic Village construction budget.  Unfortunately, they chose to do so using very risky currency swaps.  

According to Kenneth Bayne, the City’s director of finance, quoted by the Vancouver Sun:  “”This exposes the loan to both interest rate and currency risks between the two countries [hedging risks].”

Fortunately for British Columbians, the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia (MFA) provides low interest financing and other financial services to BC communities and institutions.  The MFA has saved BC taxpayers millions of dollars in debt repayments as a result of their excellent credit rating.

 


About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.