Sept. 11, 2019 – Public Accounts Committee Proceedings


TEST TEST.
TEST. TEST TEST TEST TEST. THIS IS A TEST. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ORDER, PLEASE.
WE’LL CALL THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS TO
ORDER. JUST BEFORE WE BEGIN, JUST A COUPLE OF HOUSEKEEPING ITEMS.
I’D ASK EVERYBODY IF THEY HAVE THEIR CELLPHONES TO PLACE THEM
ON SILENT OR VIBRATE, AND IF YOU SEE THE CLOCK BEHIND ME, YOU’LL
NOTICE THE TIME IS NOT THE SAME AS THE ONE AHEAD OF US.
WE’LL BE FOLLOWING THE ONES AHEAD OF ME RIGHT NOW, OKAY, FOR
THE REST OF THE MEETING. WE’LL BEGIN BY ASKING FOR
INTRODUCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS.
WE’LL START WITH MS. ROBERTS. >>SUSAN LEBLANC.
>>The Chair: SORRY. >>GOOD MORNING, LISA ROBERTS.
>>GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME, TIM HALMAN, MLA FOR DARTMOUTH EAST.
>>GOOD MORNING, ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>>RAFAH DICOSTANZO, MLA FOR CLAYTON PARK WEST AND I’M HERE
ON BEHALF OF GORDON WILSON, THANK YOU.
>> WELCOME.
SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT, MLA LUNENBURG.
>>BEN JESSOME.
>>HUGH MacKAY, CHESTER-ST. MARGARET’S.
>>The Chair: THANK YOU. ON TODAY’S AGENDA WE HAVE
OFFICIALS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL WITH US
TO DISCUSS THE RENEWAL OF P3 TWINNING HIGHWAY 104 BETWEEN
ANTIGONISH AND PICTOU COUNTY.>>PETER HACKETT, CHIEF
ENGINEER.>>PAUL LaFLECHE.
>>DIANNE SAURETTE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE FOR THE
DEPARTMENT.>>JANICE HARLAND, DIRECTOR OF
CAPITAL PROGRAMS WITH TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE
RENEWAL.>>The Chair: THANK YOU.
MR. LaFLECHE, I BELIEVE YOU’RE GOING TO BE MAKING THE OPENING
REMARKS?>>YES, I DO.
YOU’VE INTRODUCED THE STAFF ALREADY.
I WILL NOTE THAT PETER HACKETT IS ALSO THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD
OF HIGHWAY 104 CORPORATION, WHICH IS NOT ON THE AGENDA
TODAY, BUT JUST WANTED TO MENTION THAT.
THANK YOU FOR THE INVITATION TO TALK WITH YOU TODAY ABOUT THE
USE OF A P3 FOR THE HIGHWAY 104 SUTHERLANDS RIVER TO ANTIGONISH
TWINNING PROJECT. THIS WAS A NEW PROJECT ANNOUNCED
IN 2017. WE’RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT, AND
IT WILL EXTEND THE TWINNING ON THE TRANS-CANADA, SIGNIFICANTLY
IMPROVE SAFETY, AND BE OF GREAT BENEFIT TO NOVA SCOTIANS.
AS COMMITTEE MEMBERS KNOW, THIS TWINNING PROJECT WAS IDENTIFIED
SEVERAL YEARS AGO AS ONE OF THE HIGHEST PRIORITIES OF THE PUBLIC
WHEN WE DID HEAVILY ATTENDED PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS.
WE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR THAT NOVA SCOTIANS WANT, IN FACT, THE
SAFER AND BETTER HIGHWAY SYSTEM, PARTICULARLY THE 100 SERIES.
WE ALSO HEARD VERY CLEARLY THAT THEY WANT IMPROVEMENTS WITHOUT
TOLLS. SO THIS IS A P3, BUT IT’S A P3
WITHOUT TOLLS. IN 2017, MINISTER McCLELLAND WAS
OUR MINISTER AT THE TIME, AND HE COMMITTED TO DOING A SERIES OF
IMPROVEMENTS TO HIGHWAYS, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE 104 SECTION WE’RE
HERE TO TALK ABOUT TODAY. EACH OF OUR 100 SERIES HIGHWAYS
ARE CRUCIAL CORRIDORS FOR THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE, GOODS AND
SERVICES THROUGHOUT THIS PROVINCE, OR IN FACT IN THIS
CASE TO OTHER PROVINCES AND THROUGHOUT CANADA, BECAUSE IT’S
PART OF THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM.
THESE ARE THE BACKBONE OF OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.
THIS 104, WHICH IS PART OF THE TRANS-CANADA, IS PARTICULARLY
VITAL TO OUR ECONOMY. IT IS OUR CRITICAL HIGHWAY LINK
TO EXPORT GOODS, IMPORT GOODS AND, IN FACT, TO SEND THEM TO
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR. TWINNING SUTHERLAND’S RIVER TO
ANTIGONISH IS A PRIORITY BECAUSE OF THE IMPROVED EFFICIENCY IT
WILL BRING TO GOODS AND SERVICES PROVIDERS, AND ALSO BECAUSE OF
THE SAFETY, IMPROVED SAFETY IT WILL BRING TO NOVA SCOTIANS.
GIVEN THE FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS OF THE PROVINCE AND THE PRICE
TAG OF OVER $2 BILLION TO COMPLETE ALL OF THE 100 SERIES
SECTIONS THAT WERE DESIRED BY THE PUBLIC, THE GOVERNMENT
NEEDED TO LOOK AT WAYS TO UPGRADE OR TWIN ABOUT 300
KILOMETRES OF HIGHWAYS QUICKLY AND AFFORDABLY WITHOUT THE USE
OF HIGHWAY TOLLS, AND I DO EMPHASIZE THE WORD QUICKLY,
BECAUSE THAT WAS PART OF THE INITIATIVE.
THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERED VARIOUS OPTIONS AND DETERMINED
THAT THE DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE, OPERATE, MAINTAIN OR A FULL P3
MODEL FOR THIS PROJECT WOULD DELIVER THE BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
FOR NOVA SCOTIANS, PLUS DELIVER IT ON TIME, AND THAT IS QUICKLY.
THE P3 APPROACH WILL MEAN THAT WE HAVE 38 KILOMETRES TWINNED OF
HIGHWAY OPEN EARLIER THAN WE WOULD THROUGH A TRADITIONAL
APPROACH. IT ALSO MEANS WE WILL HAVE
TWINNED, FOUR-LANE 104 FROM THE NEW BRUNSWICK BORDER TO JUST
EAST OF ANTIGONISH BY 2023. THE WORK WILL INCLUDE TWO NEW
INTERCHANGES. WE WERE FORTUNATE THAT THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAW THIS AS A CRITICAL NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION
CORRIDOR AND DECIDED TO CONTRIBUTE $90 MILLION OF
INCREMENTAL NEW MONEY TO NOVA SCOTIA OVER AND ABOVE WHAT WE
WOULD NORMALLY GET FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH OUR
ALLOCATION THROUGH THE NATIONAL TRADES CORRIDORS FUND TO THIS
PROJECT. MR. CHAIR, THE PROJECT IS ON
SCHEDULE, AND WE ARE CURRENTLY IN THE RFP PHASE WITH THREE
BIDDERS PREPARING COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS THAT ARE DUE THIS
FALL. EVALUATION OF THESE PROPOSALS,
SELECTION OF THE PREFERRED PROPONENT, AND FINAL
NEGOTIATIONS WILL FOLLOW WITH A CONTRACT FINALIZED IN APRIL 2020
IN TIME FOR THE 2020 CONSTRUCTION SEASON.
THE SUCCESSFUL PROPONENT, AMONG THE THREE, WILL BE REQUIRED TO
OPERATE AND MAINTAIN THIS HIGHWAY FOR 20 YEARS FOLLOWING
THE SUBSTANTIAL COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT AND THE STANDARDS
THAT ARE SET BY THE PROVINCE. WHILE THE PROPONENT IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING SAFE AND EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE
HIGHWAY, OWNERSHIP OF THE HIGHWAY STAYS WITH THE PEOPLE OF
NOVA SCOTIA. WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS
PROJECT, MR. CHAIR. WE HAVE CONDUCTED A THOROUGH
VALUE-FOR-MONEY ANALYSIS, AND WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THIS MODEL
WILL DELIVER TO NOVA SCOTIANS A SAFER AND MORE EFFICIENT HIGHWAY
YEARS EARLIER THAN WE WOULD HAVE HAD WITH A TRADITIONAL BUILD.
BEFORE I CONCLUDE, I DO WANT TO BE CLEAR TO COMMITTEE MEMBERS
AND TO NOVA SCOTIANS THAT WE’RE CURRENTLY IN THE MIDDLE OF A
COMPETITIVE BID PROCESS FOR THIS PROJECT.
AS A RESULT, WE ARE LIMITED IN WHAT WE CAN SHARE WITH THE
COMMITTEE AT THIS TIME. WE ARE OBLIGATED UNDER OUR
PROCUREMENT RULES NOT TO SHARE FINANCIAL DETAILS OR OTHER
INTERNAL CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION THAT COULD
COMPROMISE OR BE SEEN TO COMPROMISE THE FAIRNESS AND
INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE TENDERING PROCESS.
OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY ARE IMPORTANT TO US, BUT WE WILL NOT
HARM THE COMPETITIVE PROCESS OR DETRACT FROM GOVERNMENT’S
NEGOTIATING POSITION DURING THIS CRITICAL PHASE.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO BEING INVITED BACK TO THIS COMMITTEE AT A
LATER DATE WHEN WE CAN SHARE MORE FULLY THE SUCCESS OF THIS
PROJECT ONCE THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED, AND THAT WILL BE, AS I
SAID, APPROXIMATELY APRIL OF 2020.
AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THE FULL VALUE FOR MONEY
ANALYSIS THAT WILL BE UPDATED AT THAT TIME, AND IT WILL BE
FINALIZED DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PERIOD.
IN CLOSING, LET ME SAY THAT WE HAVE DONE OUR HOMEWORK AND I
BELIEVE AT THE END OF THE DAY THE P3 MODEL FOR THIS PROJECT IS
IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE TAXPAYER.
IT DELIVERS GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY, AND IT IS AN APPROPRIATE
FIT FOR THIS PROJECT BASED ON THE BUSINESS CASE.
IT IS NOT ALWAYS AN APPROPRIATE FIT.
THE LAST TIME I WAS HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE HEALTH SECTOR, I
INDICATED THAT SOMETIMES IT FITS AND SOMETIMES IT DOESN’T, AND WE
DO CAREFUL ANALYSIS ABOUT WHEN THAT WORKS AND DOESN’T WORK.
WE ALSO DRAW UPON THE EXPERIENCES THAT HAVE BEEN
GAINED IN OTHER PROVINCES AND JURISDICTIONS ACROSS NORTH
AMERICA. IN THIS CASE, WE FEEL THAT THIS
IS A GOOD FIT. I WANT TO MAKE A FEW COMMENTS.
I’M SORRY I’M SLIGHTLY UNDERDRESSED, NOT AS
UNDERDRESSED AS I WAS LAST TIME WHEN I ROLLED IN HERE WITH A
PROP. I WILL HAVE TO GET UP ABOUT
HALFWAY THROUGH AND DO SOMETHING.
I’LL GO OUTSIDE, DO SOME STRETCHING AND EXERCISES, AND I
DON’T HAVE MY SHOES ON BECAUSE THEY STILL WON’T FIT.
SO I’M IN SKETCHERS TODAY. I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT.
I DO HAVE MY NEW TIE ON, THOUGH. I KNOW THAT THE CHAIR WOULD BE
WORRIED ABOUT THAT. SO WE ARE HERE TO ANSWER
QUESTIONS. WE WILL ACTUALLY CAREFULLY AVOID
QUESTIONS, AND JANICE HARLAND WILL KEEP US ON TRACK, THAT
MIGHT COMPROMISE THE PROCESS. BUT WE WILL REVEAL FULL
INFORMATION ON ALL OF THAT WHEN WE COME BACK ONCE THE CONTRACT
HAS BEEN AWARDED. THANK YOU.
>>The Chair: THANK YOU, MR. La FLECHE.
AND BEFORE WE BEGIN THE QUESTIONING, I ALSO WANTED TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THE — WE DO HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AUDITOR
GENERAL’S OFFICE IN ATTENDANCE AS WELL AS REPRESENTATIVES OF
COUNCIL. TO BEGIN THE FIRST ROUND OF
QUESTIONS, 20 MINUTES EACH CAUCUS, AND WE’LL BEGIN WITH THE
PC CAUCUS, MR. HALMAN.
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU’RE ON THE
MEND, MR. LaFLECHE. WITH RESPECT TO THE BIDDERS, WHO
ARE THE BIDDERS PUTTING FORWARD THE COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS?
>>The Chair: SORRY. OH, MS. HARLAND.
>>IT’S DEXTER NOVA ALLIANCE, OSPREY TRANSPORTATION PROVISIONS
AND ATLANTIC — PARTNER ARE THE THREE CONSORTIA.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>ALL RIGHT, THANK YOU.
COULD YOU OUTLINE FOR NOVA SCOTIANS WHAT MAKES A GOOD P3
PROJECT? WHAT ARE THE MEASURES THAT WE
USE TO DETERMINE THAT THIS IS ADEQUATE, THIS IS GOOD, THIS IS
SUFFICIENT FOR NOVA SCOTIANS? COULD YOU OUTLINE WHAT MAKES A
GOOD P3 PROJECT?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>THE P3 PROJECTS SUITS IN THIS INSTANCE BECAUSE, AS DEPUTY
LaFLECHE SAID, THE GOAL IS TO GET A QUALITY HIGHWAY BUILT AS
QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AND GET THE SAFETY BENEFITS IN PLACE AS SOON
AS POSSIBLE AT BEST COST TO NOVA SCOTIANS.
AND SO TO — SO WE LOOKED AT THE P3 OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO US TO
SEE HOW WE WOULD GO ABOUT ACHIEVING THAT, SORT OF THE
BASIC MODEL IS DESIGN BUILD, AND THAT CERTAINLY HELPS WITH THE
SCHEDULE. WHEN YOU ADD IN THE FINANCE
PART, AND THE LENDER HAS MONEY AT RISK, THAT REALLY HELPS DRIVE
COST EFFICIENCIES AND SCHEDULES AND KEEPS THE PROJECT ON TRACK.
AND THEN THE LAST PART THAT WE LOOKED AT WAS THE FULL P3 WHEN
WE ADD IN THE OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE AND REHABILITATION.
AND SO WHEN YOU HAVE A SINGLE ENTITY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THOSE
ASPECTS, THAT REALLY DRIVES AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THE BEST
DECISIONS AND DRIVES A QUALITY BUILD.
SO IF YOU HAVE TO MAINTAIN THAT HIGHWAY FOR 20 YEARS, YOU’RE
GOING TO DO WHAT’S NECESSARY UP FRONT TO MAKE SURE IT’S A
QUALITY PROJECT. SO WE LOOKED AT THAT FROM SORT
OF A QUALITATIVE RESPECT IN TERMS OF THE P3 MODEL.
WE THEN WENT AND DID THE MARKET SOUNDING WITH THE INDUSTRY TO
SEE IF THERE WOULD BE A COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT, IF YOU
PUT A PROJECT SUCH AS THIS FORWARD.
AND LASTLY, AS WAS MENTIONED, WE DID A DETAILED VALUE FOR MONEY
TO ENSURE THAT THE COST OF DOING IT THIS WAY, A FULL P3, WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS
VERSUS THE TRADITIONAL BUILD, AND ALL THOSE INDICATORS WERE
POSITIVE, AND SO THAT’S WHAT WE DID TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS WAS
AN APPROPRIATE APPROACH FOR THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT.
>>The Chair: OKAY, THANK YOU. BEFORE WE PROCEED, I’M GOING TO
ASK EVERYBODY IF THEY CAN SPEAK CLOSELY INTO THE MIC BECAUSE WE
HAVE THE FANS GOING HERE. SO FOR EVERYBODY’S BENEFIT, MR.
HALMAN?>>THANK YOU.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
CAN YOU CONTRAST THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE P3 AND
THE TRADITIONAL BUILD, JUST SO THAT NOVA SCOTIANS HAVE CLARITY?
WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES?
>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?>>SORRY.
SO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A P3 AND A CONVENTIONAL BUILD, AND
NORMALLY IN A CONVENTIONAL BUILD THE DEPARTMENT WOULD TAKE
SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE THE PROJECT TO DO BASICALLY THE DESIGN, PICK
UP ALL THE PRE-ENGINEERING WORK. THEY GET THE PROJECT PREPARED,
AND THEN WE WOULD SEND OUT DESIGNS AND THE CONTRACT, THE
TENDER OUT TO TENDER, AND THEN FROM THERE THE CONTRACTOR WOULD
BE AWARDED THE JOB, BUILD THE JOB AND COMPLETE THE JOB, AND
THE DEPARTMENT WOULD BASICALLY TAKE THE JOB BACK OVER AND LOOK
AFTER THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS OF IT.
IN A P3 PROJECT, ALL OF THAT UP FRONT WORK IS GIVEN TO THE
CONSORTIUM, AND THEY WOULD DO THE DESIGN, ALL THE
PRE-ENGINEERING. THEY WOULD DO THE BUILD, AND
THEN THEY WOULD LOOK AFTER ALL THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS
AFTER. AS MS. HARLAND SAID EARLIER, THE
BENEFIT TO THIS P3 IS JUST THAT WE HAD TO GET THIS ONE DONE VERY
QUICKLY, OR GET IT DONE QUICKLY WITHIN A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME,
AND THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT WAS — WASN’T REALLY READY ON THE
SHELF TO GO TO TENDER TO DO IT CONVENTIONALLY.
THEY WANTED TO GET IT DONE QUICKER AND MORE EFFICIENTLY.
OTHER PROJECTS, LIKE THE 101, THE 103, HAD BEEN READY FOR SOME
TIME AND WE WERE ABLE TO GET THOSE OUT UNDER A CONVENTIONAL
BUILD.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>AND MS. HARLAND, WILL YOU BE TASKED WITH OTHERS TO OVERSEE
THE EXECUTION OF THE P3? HOW MANY OTHER CIVIL SERVANTS IN
THE DEPARTMENT WILL OVERSEE THE P3 EXECUTION?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
MR. HACKETT?>>SO ON THE EXECUTION RIGHT NOW
WE PROBABLY HAVE ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE PEOPLE WORKING ON THE
PROJECT DIRECTLY AS IT — YOU KNOW, INTERNAL STAFF, WE HAVE A
NUMBER OF CONSULTANTS AND WE HAVE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND
LEGAL AND THAT SORT OF THING, SO I COULDN’T — THERE’S MORE
PEOPLE THAN JUST THE DEPARTMENT. THOSE FOUR OR FIVE INTERNALLY IN
THE DEPARTMENT WILL EXECUTE THE PROJECT OR START THE PROJECT,
BUT AS THE PROJECT SORT OF UNFOLDS, THERE WILL BE MORE
PEOPLE WE REQUIRE TO OVERSEE THE JOB, AND THEN ALSO INTO THE LONG
TERM, TO BASICALLY LOOK AFTER THE AGREEMENTS UNDER THE
MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS FOR THE 20 YEARS.
SO THERE WILL BE OTHER PEOPLE HIRED TO LOOK AFTER THAT AS WELL
INTERNALLY. THE NUMBERS I COULDN’T SAY, BUT
I WOULD SAY ROUGHLY BETWEEN 5 AND 10 PEOPLE WOULD HAVE TO LOOK
AFTER THE JOB FROM START TO FINISH, BUT THE START TO FINISH,
I MEAN, THE START OF THE PROJECT IS POTENTIALLY FOR NEXT YEAR FOR
CONSTRUCTION, BUT THE FINISH ISN’T FOR 20 YEARS AFTER THE JOB
IS COMPLETED. SO THERE’S A WHOLE LIFE OF THE
PROJECT.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR, AND FOR THOSE TASKED WITH OVERSIGHT,
WITH MONITORING, WHAT RUBRIC DO THEY USE TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF A P3 PROJECT?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>I THINK THAT’S STANDARD, BUT TO GET INTO ANY DETAIL, WE’RE
GETTING INTO THE DETAILS OF THE CURRENT TENDER PROCESS, AND
THAT’S — THAT INFORMATION IS BEST LEFT UNTIL THAT’S COMPLETED
SO THAT WE MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROCESS AND GET
A SOLID PROCUREMENT PROCESS COMPLETED SO THAT THE PROJECT
CAN PROCEED. BUT AT THE TIME THAT THAT’S
COMPLETED, THEN WE CAN GET INTO THE DETAILS OF HOW THAT IS
MANAGED. BUT RIGHT NOW THAT INFORMATION
IS CONFIDENTIAL.>>MR. HALMAN?
>>SO EXCLUDING THE SPECIFICS OF THIS PROJECT, GENERALLY SPEAKING
WHAT RUBRIC DOES THE DEPARTMENT OF TIR USE TO MEASURE THE
SUCCESS OF P3, GENERALLY SPEAKING?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>WELL, THE — WHEN THE
CONTRACT IS — WHEN THE TENDER PROCESS IS COMPLETED, WE’LL
REDO, REFRESH THE VALUE-FOR-MONEY ANALYSIS, SO
THAT WILL GIVE US AN INDICATION AND CONFIRMATION OF OUR — OF
THE COST ASPECT. AND AGAIN, WHEN IT’S COMPLETED,
WE’LL REFRESH THAT. SO FROM A COST PERSPECTIVE,
THAT’S THE MEASURE.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN — OH,
MR. LaFLECHE, SORRY. OH, MR. HACKETT.
>>JUST SO AWAY FROM THIS P3, BUT THE DEPARTMENT DOES OVERSEE
THE PASS, THE WESTERN ALIGNMENT CORPORATION, AND THAT’S A P3
PROJECT AS WELL. SO TO MEASURE — I MEAN, THAT’S
A FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL PROJECT, AND IT’S DONE VERY WELL IN ITS
EXISTENCE IN THE LAST 23 YEARS I THINK IT’S BEEN RUNNING.
AND SO THE WAY THAT’S SET UP IS THE CONTRACTS UNDER THAT, THERE
IS A PROCESS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION.
SO THE CONSORTIUM UNDER THAT PROGRAM HAS TO MAINTAIN THE
HIGHWAY TO CERTAIN STANDARDS. THEY HAVE TO MAINTAIN IT WITH
BOTH OPERATIONAL MAINTENANCE, LIKE POTHOLE PATCHING AND THAT
SORT OF THING, AS WELL AS CAPITAL.
SO THEY HAVE TO COME BACK AND REPAVE AFTER SO MANY YEARS AND
SO ON AND SO FORTH. SO IF THEY DON’T DO THAT, THERE
ARE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESSES IN PLACE THAT WOULD BASICALLY
MAKE THEM DO THE WORK THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO UNDER OUR LEVELS OF
SERVICE. SO THAT’S THE WAY THE CONTRACTS
ARE WRITTEN. IN THAT PARTICULAR PROJECT,
THOUGH, ON THE PASS, IT’S BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL.
WE HAVEN’T HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH DISPUTE RESOLUTION.
THE CONSORTIUM HAS ENSURED THAT THE PROJECT IS BASICALLY KEPT UP
TO STANDARD FOR THE LAST 23 YEARS.
BUT THERE ARE CAVEATS IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT THEY DO THE WORK
WELL. AND LIKE I SAID, THAT’S PROBABLY
ONE OF OUR BEST-MAINTAINED HIGHWAYS IN THE PROVINCE.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
WILL THERE BE A GUARANTEED PROFIT CLAUSE TO THIS PROJECT?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>AGAIN, THAT’S GETTING INTO
THE DETAILS OF THE PROCUREMENT THAT WE CAN’T GET INTO AT PRESENT.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN. >>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
WILL THERE BE ANY BONDS THAT WILL BE ISSUED WITH RESPECT TO
THIS PROJECT?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>AGAIN, THIS IS — THESE ARE QUESTIONS THAT ARE GOING TO BE
BETTER ABLE TO BE ANSWERED AT THE END OF THE PROCUREMENT
PROCESS.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. HOW IS IT PLANNED FOR PRIVATE INVESTORS
TO MAKE PROFIT OFF THIS INVESTMENT?
FOR EXAMPLE, WILL THERE BE TOLLS ON THIS HIGHWAY?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>I THINK IT’S BEEN CLEARLY
STATED THAT THERE WON’T BE TOLLS.
THIS IS A COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT.
WE HAVE THREE QUALIFIED BIDDERS BIDDING, AND MAINTAINING A FAIR
AND APPROPRIATE TENDER PROCESS, MAINTAINING THE COMPETITIVE
ENVIRONMENT OF THE TENDER PROCESS, WHICH IS ONE OF THE
CONSTRAINTS OF BEING ABLE TO SHARE TODAY, IS THAT WE WANT
THAT TENDER PROCESS TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE SO THAT WE GET THE
BEST PRICE OUT OF THE BIDS.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>IN TERMS OF THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS, I’M CURIOUS, WHEN IT
COMES TO THE EVENTUAL WINNER OF THE BID, GENERALLY SPEAKING,
DOES THE DEPARTMENT — LIKE, WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU LOOK AT?
DOES IT SEEK OUT THE LOWEST BIDDER?
WHAT’S THE CRITERIA YOU LOOK AT WHEN IT COMES TO THAT PROCESS?
CAN YOU OUTLINE THAT FOR NOVA SCOTIANS, WHAT CRITERIA GOES
INTO THAT?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>AGAIN, I CAN’T SHARE THE DETAILS OF THE TENDER ITSELF,
BUT THE PRINCIPLES THAT ARE UNDERLYING THE WHOLE PROJECT ARE
TO GET A QUALITY HIGHWAY IN PLACE SO THAT THE SAFETY
BENEFITS ARE IN PLACE SOONER AT THE BEST COST FOR NOVA SCOTIANS.
SO THOSE ARE THE PRINCIPLES THAT UNDERLIE THE PROJECT, BUT I
CAN’T GIVE YOU, AGAIN, AT THIS POINT THE DETAILS OF THE TENDER.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. SO THE TWINNING OF THE HIGHWAY
FROM EXIT 26, THORBURN, TO SUTHERLAND’S RIVER IS COMPLETED,
HOWEVER, I’VE HEARD THAT THIS SECTION IS INCLUDED IN THE
TENDER PROCESS TO ANTIGONISH, AND IT HAS BEEN COMPLETED.
MAYBE THE REASON IS TO GIVE THE PRIVATE REASON THAT COMPLETE
STRETCH OF HIGHWAY TO MAINTAIN. I’M CURIOUS, THOUGH, WILL THE
SUCCESSFUL TENDER BID INCLUDE THE COST OF THE ROAD THAT IS
COMPLETE? WILL THAT BE FACTORED IN, IN
THAT TENDERS PROCESS?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>I’M NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND YOUR QUESTION.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
THAT STRETCH IS ALREADY COMPLETED.
IS THAT GOING TO BE FACTORED INTO THE TENDERING PROCESS?
IS THAT BEING INCLUDED IN THAT PROCESS?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>THERE’S A STRETCH OF ROAD
THAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PROCESS IN TERMS OF THE BIDDERS BEING
REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A PRICE TO MAINTAIN AND REHABILITATE THAT
ROAD >>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
SO WHAT GUIDELINES OR COMMITMENTS CAN THE DEPARTMENT
GUARANTEE THAT THE HIGHWAY WILL BE COMPLETED BY 2024?
AND THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A CLEAR PRIORITY FOR THE RESIDENTS OF
THAT AREA OF NOVA SCOTIA. YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL
BE COMPLETED BY 2024, CORRECT?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>IT’S A REQUIREMENT. I CAN SHARE THAT IT’S A
REQUIREMENT OF THE TENDER THAT IT BE COMPLETED TO MEET
GOVERNMENT-STATED DEADLINE OF BEING IN USE BY THE END OF 2023,
I THOUGHT IT WAS, YEAH.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. AND WHAT WILL THE PERCENTAGE OF
PICTOU AND ANTIGONISH COUNTER TRUCKERS HIRED TO WORK ON THIS
PROJECT BE? IS THERE A COMMITMENT TO TRY TO
HIRE LOCALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS
TWINNING OF THE HIGHWAY?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>YES, SO THERE’S NO — RIGHT NOW THERE’S NO GUARANTEE IN THE
CONTRACT OR IN P3S IN GENERAL THAT WE’VE HAD TO HIRE LOCAL
TRUCKERS. WE EXPECT THE CONSORTIUMS TO
HIRE FROM THAT AREA, BUT THAT WOULD BASICALLY BE UP TO THE
CONTRACTORS THEMSELVES. AND OUR CONVENTIONAL PROJECTS WE
DO HAVE A STATEMENT IN THERE ABOUT LOCAL TRUCKING, BUT IN P3
CONTRACTS WE HAVE NEVER HAD THAT STATEMENT IN THERE.
IT LIMITS — WHEN YOU PUT THAT INTO THE PROGRAM, YOU LIMIT THE
ACTUAL BIDDING AND THE BIDDING PROCESS.
SO THERE’S NO GUARANTEE, BUT WE WOULD EXPECT THAT THE
CONTRACTORS IN THIS CASE WOULD HIRE LOCALLY.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
I’M CURIOUS, IF A PRIVATE COMPANY WAS TO PROVIDE EITHER
POOR SERVICE OR ENDED UP GOING OVER BUDGET BY A CONSIDERABLE
DEGREE IN, SAY, A PAST PROJECT FOR THE GOVERNMENT, WITHIN I
GUESS THE RUBRIC, THE STANDARDS THAT YOU HAVE, WOULD THAT BE
CONSIDERED — WOULD THAT BE CONSIDERED IN THE BIDDING
PROCESS, OR WOULD THEY BE GIVEN A CLEAN SLATE WHEN IT COMES TO A
PROJECT LIKE THIS? BASICALLY, YOU KNOW, THE PAST
HISTORY, IS THAT FACTORED IN IF A COMPANY IS PUTTING ANOTHER BID
IN? I MEAN, DO YOU LOOK AT THAT WHEN
LOOKING AT A NEW TENDER?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT.
>>SO UNDER THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT I COULDN’T COMMENT WITH
REGARD TO THAT BECAUSE IT WOULD BE — IT’S UNDER WHATEVER THAT
AGREEMENT IS. AND LIKE WE SAID, THAT’S OUT TO
TENDER RIGHT NOW. ON TYPICAL PROJECTS, THAT
DOESN’T HAPPEN TOO OFTEN IN PROCUREMENT.
SO IF YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, A POOR PERFORMER, SO TO SPEAK, WE DO GO
DOWN THE ROAD OF, YOU KNOW, ADVISING THAT POOR CONTRACTOR ON
IF THEY CAN OR CAN’T BID ON OTHER PROJECTS OR TRYING TO GET
THEM TO A BETTER STANDARD TO BID ON FUTURE PROJECTS, BUT THAT’S
KIND OF THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF ISD WITH PROCUREMENT.
SO IT’S NOT JUST WITH HIGHWAY TENDERS.
IT’S WITH ALL SORTS OF PROCUREMENTS.
IT’S BASICALLY LETTING THEM KNOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN A POOR
PERFORMER AND YOU HAVE TO GO DOWN A FAIRLY LONG ROAD TO GET
TO THE POINT THAT YOU’RE NOT GOING TO RE-BID, BUT YOU WOULD
HAVE TO GO THROUGH A PROGRAM TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN QUALIFY
TO BE A GOOD PARTICIPANT, SO TO SPEAK.
BUT I COULDN’T REFER TO THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT.
BUT IN GENERAL, THAT’S THE WAY OUR DEPARTMENT WORKS, YEAH.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
SO AFTER AN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT SUCH AS THIS IS
COMPLETED, I’M CURIOUS, HOW LONG ARE THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
LIABLE FOR REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE THAT MAY ARISE IF
THE QUALITY OF THEIR WORK WAS NOT ADEQUATE?
I SUPPOSE THIS COMES BACK TO A CONVERSATION WE’VE HAD AT
PREVIOUS MEETINGS WITH RESPECT TO THE WARRANTIES.
WOULD YOU OUTLINE THAT FOR US, WHAT THE SCOPE OF
RESPONSIBILITIES ARE AFTER A PROJECT LIKE THIS IS COMPLETED WITH REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE?
>>?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>IT’S — I GUESS THAT’S ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES THAT — OF A
DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN.
IF YOU’RE BUILDING IT, YOU ALSO HAVE TO OPERATE AND MAINTAIN IT,
SO YOU’RE HELD TO YOUR OWN — YOU’RE AT RISK OF YOUR OWN
QUALITY OF WORKMANSHIP. SO IT’S — AGAIN, THIS IS A COMPETITIVE
PROCUREMENT, AND SO COMPANIES ARE GOING TO WANT TO FIGURE OUT
THE BEST WAY, THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE WAY TO DO THIS,
BUT THEY ALSO HAVE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONTRACT.
SO THEY’RE I GUESS MASTERS OF THEIR OWN — THEY HAVE TO DO IT.
IT DRIVES THE QUALITY JOB, I GUESS THIS MODEL DRIVES A
QUALITY CONSTRUCTION RIGHT UP FRONT BECAUSE THEY’RE REQUIRED
TO MAINTAIN IT.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>HOW MUCH TIME LEFT DO I HAVE, MR. CHAIR?
>>The Chair: TWO MINUTES. >>TWO MINUTES.
OKAY, WITH RESPECT TO THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF WETLANDS, I’M CURIOUS
HOW MANY WETLANDS WILL BE IMPACTED BY THIS PROJECT?
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>THERE ISN’T A — THERE ARE
WETLANDS IDENTIFIED IN THE PROJECT CORRIDOR.
THOSE HAVE BEEN — THROUGH THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS
HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED, BUT UNTIL THE DESIGN IS COMPLETED, WE
WON’T HAVE AN EXACT AREA OF IMPACT.
BUT THERE IS CERTAINLY A PROCESS AND REQUIREMENT TO APPROPRIATELY
DEAL WITH THAT.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN WITH A
MINUTE AND A HALF.>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
WELL, WITH RESPECT TO THAT, COULD YOU OUTLINE WHAT POLICIES
THE DEPARTMENT HAS WITH RESPECT TO PERHAPS COMPENSATING THOSE
WHO WILL LOSE WETLANDS — HOW DOES THE DEPARTMENT OR
GOVERNMENT PLAN ON COMPENSATING OR MAKING FOR THIS LOSS OF
WETLANDS IN OUR PROVINCE? IS THERE A POLICY AND PROCEDURE
IN PLACE NOW THAT DEALS WITH THAT?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND? OH, MR. HACKETT.
>>I CAN TALK BRIEFLY ABOUT IT, BUT — OR GENERALLY ABOUT IT,
BUT FOR MOST OF OUR MAJOR PROJECTS WE’RE UNDER WHAT THEY
CALL THE H.A.D. PROGRAM, AND THAT’S A TRADE-OFF OF IF YOU
HAVE TO TAKE AWAY WETLAND ON ONE SIDE AND YOU CREATE A WETLAND
SOMEWHERE ELSE, YOU ACTUALLY GET POINTS FOR CREATING THE WETLAND.
SO YOU CAN USE THOSE POINTS FOR CREATING WETLANDS TOWARDS THE
REDUCTION OF WETLANDS. SO FOR INSTANCE, ON A HIGHWAY
LIKE THE 104 AS JANICE SAID RIGHT NOW WE’RE NOT SURE EXACTLY
WHAT THE DESIGN LOOKS LIKE, BUT WE’LL USE THE 103, THERE WAS
WETLANDS ON THE 103. WE HAD POINTS IN OUR H.A.D.
BANK, SO WE COULD FILL IN SOME OF THOSE THAT HAD POINTS, AND IF
WE WANTED TO CREATE FOR H.A.D. POINTS FOR THE BANK, WE WOULD
HAVE TO GO — MAYBE WE CHANGE A CULVERT SOMEWHERE OR PUT A
BETTER BRIDGE IN OR CREATE SOME SORT OF A SALT MARSH, AND THEN
WE GET POINTS TOWARDS OUR BANK. I CAN TELL YOU, I GOT TO FIGURE
OUT WHAT THE H.A.D. ACRONYM MEANS.
IT’S HABITAT. ANYWAY, IT’S CREATING OF
WETLANDS, ANYWAY, AND THAT’S THE WAY WE DEAL WITH IT IN THE
DEPARTMENT. IT’S BASED ON A POINTS SYSTEM.
>>The Chair: THANK YOU. THE TIME FOR THE PC CAUCUS HAS
EXPIRED FOR THE FIRST ROUND. I’LL TURN NOW TO THE NDP CAUCUS,
MS. LEBLANC.>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
IN 2016 THE DEPARTMENT COMMISSIONED A HIGHWAY 20
FEASIBILITY STUDY FROM A CONSULTING FIRM IN HALIFAX.
THE PRELIMINARY REPORT CALCULATED A PROPOSED TOTAL COST
WHICH INCLUDED PURCHASE AND CONSTRUCTION OF WATER RIGHTS OF
23.4 MILLION FOR THIS SECTION OF THE HIGHWAY.
THE FIGURE WAS THEN REVISED UP TO 285 MILLION IN THE FINAL
REPORT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION ALONE.
SO THAT’S A 52.6 MILLION, MORE THAN
HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION CURRENTLY COSTS THE GOVERNMENT FOR
IDENTICAL LENGTHS OF TWINNED HIGHWAY THROUGH NORMAL
PROCUREMENT PROCESSES. SO I’M WONDERING IF THE
DEPARTMENT MINISTER CAN EXPLAIN DEPUTY MINISTER CAN EXPLAIN WHY
THEY HAVE ELECTED TO GO WITH A P3 WHEN COSTS THROUGH A
TRADITIONAL BUILD WOULD BE MUCH LOWER.
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.
>>I’LL ALLOW MR. HACKETT TO EXPLAIN THAT.
>>I CAN TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT IT.
SO I DON’T — SO THAT FIGURE OF 235 TO 285 I’M NOT REALLY SURE
THE DIFFERENCE OF WHY THAT IS DIFFERENT, SO I’D HAVE TO HAVE A
LOOK AT THAT REPORT TO WHERE IT WENT FROM ONE TO THE OTHER, BUT
IN NORMAL CONVENTIONAL BUILDS WE’RE RUNNING BETWEEN 5 AND $10
MILLION A KILOMETRE FOR TWO LANE OF HIGHWAY.
AND THAT’S NOT GOING DOWN ANY. THAT’S CONTINUOUSLY GOING UP.
I’VE BEEN HERE FOR 21 YEARS, AND THE FIRST YEAR I CAME HERE IT
WAS $1 MILLION A KILOMETRE. WHEN YOU GET INTO THE
CONSTRUCTION ON A CONVENTIONAL BUILD, WE DON’T EXPECT IT WOULD
BE A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT BETWEEN THAT AND A P3.
THIS IS 38 KILOMETRES LONG. 285 IS LESS THAN 10 MILLION, SO
I WOULD THINK THAT’S PROBABLY IN THE BALLPARK.
WHERE YOU’LL PROBABLY SEE A DIFFERENCE IN PRICE IS ON SOME
OF THE P3S THERE’S OTHER THINGS INVOLVED WITH P3S.
I CAN’T SAY SPECIFICALLY TO THIS ONE, BUT YOU PUT OTHER RISKS
INTO THAT CONTRACT ON A P3, LIKE WE DID ON THE PASS.
SO YOU MIGHT SEE SOME OF THE PRICING GO UP, BUT IT ALSO TAKES
SOME OF THE RISK OFF THE DEPARTMENT AS WELL.
SO THERE’S SOME COSTS IN THERE THAT YOU MAY SEE BUT NOT REALLY
HAVE TO — YOU ONLY UNDERSTAND BY GOING THROUGH THE ACTUAL
PROCESS. BUT THE 285 IN THAT NUMBER
DOESN’T SEEM MUCH — A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT THAN THE NORMAL COSTS
OF CONVENTIONAL.
BUT I DON’T KNOW THE 235.
AND AS DEPUTY MINISTER LaFLECHE SAID, WE MAY NOT HAVE HAD ALL
THE RIGHT-OF-WAY NUMBERS FOR THE 235.
I HAVE TO CHECK WHAT THE NUMBER WAS.
THE OTHER PART OF THAT, JUST AS AN EXAMPLE, AND WE RAISED IT
HERE BEFORE IN THE HOUSE, WHEN WE DID THE ANTIGONISH BYPASS —
THE ANTIGONISH FOUR LANES PAST ANTIGONISH, THAT WAS A
10-KILOMETRE SECTION OF ROAD. THAT COST $160 MILLION, SO
ROUGHLY $10 MILLION A KILOMETRE. THERE’S INTERCHANGES AND THINGS
THAT WOULD DRIVE YOUR COST UP. THAT’S THE HIGH ENDS BUT THAT’S
PRETTY STANDARD OF WHERE WE’RE AT.
>>The Chair: MS. LEBLANC?>>THANK YOU.
SO YEAH, MY FOLLOW-UP QUESTION WAS GOING TO BE CAN YOU TELL US
WHY THAT $52 MILLION INCREASE HAPPENED.
IF YOU CAN FIND THAT INFORMATION AND FORWARD IT ON TO THE
COMMITTEE, THAT WOULD BE GREAT. BUT JUST TALKING ABOUT
CONSTRUCTION COSTS ALONE, YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT BE BALLPARK THAT,
YOU KNOW, P3S ARE IN THE SAME BALLPARK AS TRADITIONAL BUILDS.
THEN WHEN WE HAVE TO ADD ON OTHER COSTS, AS YOU MENTIONED.
THE DECISION, I THINK, AND I’VE SAID THIS BEFORE, THE DECISION
TO TURN THE FINANCING OF THIS PROJECT OF A P3 IS FRANKLY
BAFFLING. THE GOVERNMENT AND MINISTER
HEINZ OFTEN REFERS TO THE PASS AS A SUCCESS STORY, AND YET THE
DECISION TO FINANCE THE COB QUIT PASS THROUGH A P3 PROJECT COST
THE PROVINCE OF UPWARDS $100 MILLION MORE THAN TO FINANCE IT
THROUGH GOVERNMENT BOND ISSUE. FOR $66 MILLION IN FINANCING WE
PAID OVER $140 MILLION IN INTEREST, AND THAT’S AN 81%
PREMIUM FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF HAVING A P3 PROJECT.
AND THAT’S TO SAY NOTHING OF THE $350 MILLION THAT NOVA SCOTIANS
HAVE PAID ON TOLLS ON THAT HIGHWAY.
CAN THE DEPUTY MINISTER PLEASE TELL THE COMMITTEE WHAT PREMIUM
NOVA SCOTIANS CAN EXPECT TO PLAY ON THE FINANCING OF THIS HIGHWAY
CUMULATIVELY OVER THE 20-YEAR LIFESPAN?
>>I THOUGHT THAT DIANNE AND I WOULD BE ABLE TO GO OVER TO
PAVIE AND GET A COFFEE FOR A WHILE, BUT DIANNE IS NOW NEEDED,
SO SHE WILL TALK TO THAT.>>THANK YOU.
SO I CAN — SO THE QUESTION DIRECTED TO THE DEPUTY, I’LL LET
HIM ANSWER THAT QUESTION, BUT I CAN SPEAK TO THE PAV.
SO YOU MADE SOME REFERENCE TO OVER 300 MILLION, AND WHEN YOU
TALK ABOUT COB QUID, I THINK THE FIRST THING I THINK WE NEED TO
CLARIFY IS THAT IN ’96, WHEN YOU LOOKED AT
FINANCING RATES, IT HAS TO BE RELATIVE.
WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE WITH OUR PROVINCIAL COST OF
BORROWING. NOW I WASN’T AROUND IN ’96, BUT
OUR PROVINCIAL COST OF BORROWING WAS SOMEWHERE AROUND 9%.
THE INTEREST RATE FOR THE PASS IS 10 AND A QUARTER.
SO IT’S PRETTY CLOSE. WHEN WE LOOK AT OVER $300
MILLION IN TOLLS, THAT’S JUST NOT FOR BOND FINANCING.
THAT HAS COVERED — LIKE, THE OBLIGATION THAT THE TOLLS COVER
IS DEFINITELY THE BOND FINANCING, BUT IT ALSO COVERS
THE MAINTENANCE, THE REHABILITATION, THE OPERATIONS
OF THE PASS, OUR SNOW REMOVAL. LIKE ALL OF THOSE THINGS THE
TOLLS HAS COVERED OVER, YOU KNOW, THE LAST 23 YEARS.
WHEN WE SAY THAT IT’S BEEN SUCCESSFUL IS THAT WHEN WE HAVE
A VERY WELL-MAINTAINED HIGHWAY SYSTEM, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT —
WE BUILT 45 KILOMETRES OF HIGHWAY IN 20 MONTHS, AND AS THE
CHIEF ENGINEER HAD MENTIONED EARLIER ABOUT THE 10 KILOMETRES
THAT WE DID IN ANTIGONISH THAT COST 160 OR $165 MILLION, THAT
TOOK US PROBABLY ABOUT 10 YEARS. SO THE THING WITH BEING ABLE TO
— WHEN YOU LOOK AT DOES IT MAKE SENSE AND WHAT CAN IT
COVER, AND BEING ABLE TO BUILD, YOU KNOW, IN THE CASE OF THE
PASS A VERY — FROM A SAFETY PERSPECTIVE, LIKE, ONE OF OUR —
THE WORST HIGHWAYS THAT WE HAD IN NOVA SCOTIA AT THE TIME, WE
WERE ABLE TO BUILD A HIGHWAY VERY QUICKLY, 45 KILOMETRES.
IT COST ABOUT $120 MILLION AT THAT TIME.
WE WERE ABLE TO GET ABOUT $27 MILLION OF FEDERAL MONEY TO GO TOWARDS THAT.
AND YOU KNOW, SO THERE’S A LOT OF, YOU KNOW, DEFINITELY
BENEFITS. I THINK THE BIGGEST ONE IS, OF
COURSE, THAT WE WERE ABLE TO DO IT QUICKLY, AND I THINK IF WE
COMPARE TO DOING IT TRADITIONALLY, IT ISLESS COST
EFFECTIVE. AND WE ALSO REDUCED FATALITIES.
>>The Chair: THANK YOU. MS. LEBLANC?
>>THANK YOU. ABSOLUTELY NO QUALMS WITH THE
FACT THAT TWINNED HIGHWAYS ARE SAFER AND OF COURSE WE WANT
SAFER HIGHWAYS FOR EVERYONE, BUT WE ALSO WANT HIGHWAYS THAT ARE
ACTUALLY COST EFFECTIVE. SO SEVERAL TIMES ALREADY TODAY
THE WITNESSES HAVE REFERRED TO BETTER — YOU KNOW, BETTER BANG
FOR YOUR BUCK, AND SO I JUST TAKE ISSUE WITH THAT ASSERTION.
THE CBCL REPORT THAT ESTIMATES THE COST OF THE BUILDING OF THIS
PROJECT AT $285 MILLION NOW ALSO INCLUDES A FIGURE OF 300 MILLION
IN DEBT REPAYMENT. THE REPORT ESTIMATES LONG-TERM
DEBT FINANCING RATES AT 5.25%, WHICH IS LOWER THAN BACK IN THE
’90S. AND THE CONSTRUCTION DEBT, THE
SHORT-TERM DEBT, IS 3.25%. BUT WE KNOW THAT WE CAN GET
BETTER RATES. THE PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICER
JUST RELEASED A PRE-ELECTION PROPOSAL COSTING BASELINE THAT
HAS THE 3-MONTH TREASURY RATE AT 1.7% AND THE 10-YEAR GOVERNMENT
BOND RATE AT JUST 2%. AND I KNOW IF WE LOOK AT THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2.2% AND 5%, IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE THAT MUCH.
BUT WHEN YOU’RE CONSIDERING THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WE’RE
TALKING ABOUT AND THE AMORTIZATION PERIOD, THEN IT’S
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT NOVA SCOTIANS ARE ON THE
HOOK FOR THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO BE.
AND ANYONE WHO OWNS A HOME OR HAS A MORTGAGE OR EVEN A
LONG-TERM LOAN KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2 AND 5%
INTEREST IS HUGE. SO WILL THE DEPUTY MINISTER
PLEASE TELL THE COMMITTEE THE INTEREST RATE THAT THE PRIVATE
BIDDERS HAVE ACCESS TO AND HOW IT COMPARES TO THE INTEREST
RATES THE GOVERNMENT CURRENTLY HAS ACCESS TO?
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?
>>YEAH.>>The Chair: MS. SAURETTE?
>>YES, THANK YOU. I CAN’T SPEAK TO WHAT INTEREST
RATE THE PRIVATE BIDDERS ARE GOING TO HAVE ACCESS TO.
WE’RE JUST NOT AT THAT STAGE. IN TERMS OF WHAT IS OUR
PROVINCIAL COST OF BORROWING, I’LL HAVE TO CONFIRM THAT, BUT
WE’RE PROBABLY AROUND 4%. SO WHEN YOU — I KNOW THAT FOR
THE CONVENTION CENTRE, AND I’M GOING TO RAISE THIS ONE BECAUSE
IT’S A RECENT ONE, THE INTEREST RATE WAS VERY CLOSE TO THE
PROVINCIAL COST OF BORROWING. YOU CAN’T NOT CONSIDER THAT IF
WE DID IT TRADITIONALLY WE WOULD STILL HAVE TO PAY FINANCING.
SO TRADITIONALLY, YES, IT WOULD BE LOWER, BUT AS PETER HAD
MENTIONED EARLIER, WE ARE JUST NOT IN A PLACE THAT WE CAN DO
THIS TRADITIONALLY. WE WILL BE 10 YEARS OUT.
AND THEN YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT ESCALATION AND WHERE WE ARE NOW.
LIKE, IN 10 YEARS TIME IN TERMS OF WHERE WE ARE WITH OUR
PROVINCIAL COST OF BORROWING, WHERE WE ARE WITH, YOU KNOW,
COSTS TO BUILD A HIGHWAY. ARE WE PAST THAT, YOU KNOW, $5
MILLION A KILOMETRE, 10 MILLION A KILOMETRE?
WITH RE-NOW UP TO 13 — ARE WE NOW UP TO 13 MILLION A
KILOMETRE? WE HAVE TO CONSIDER IT
RELATIVELY. LIKE, WE ARE WE AT, AND TO DO IT
TRADITIONALLY, WE COULD NOT START THE PROJECT NEXT YEAR.
IT WOULD BE YEARS AHEAD OF TIME, AND WE WOULD BE LOOKING AT
DIFFERENT COSTS AT THAT TIME.>>The Chair: MS. LEBLANC?
>>THANKS. I MEAN, THAT IS — I’M GOING TO
MOVE ON FROM THIS, BUT I ACTUALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT
BECAUSE I’VE HEARD THIS ARGUMENT BEFORE.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAME TO THE TABLE IN 2018.
OUR PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT KNEW THAT WE HAD MONEY SET ASIDE, OR
CAMPAIGNED ON THE FACT THAT THERE WAS MONEY SET ASIDE IN THE
LAST ELECTION. SO HAD WE JUST GONE WITH THE
FEDERAL MONEY AND STARTED THE PROCESS, WE WOULD BE WELL INTO
THE PROCESS RIGHT NOW. AS IT IS, WE MAY START
CONSTRUCTION IN 2020, MAY FINISH 2023.
I’M GOING TO LEAVE THAT. I DON’T WANT TO DWELL ON THAT.
BUT PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS HAVE BEEN ABANDONED IN THE
UNITED KINGDOM BECAUSE OF ISSUES WITH CONTRACT HOLDERS, PROBLEMS
WITH SERVICE LEVELS, PROBLEMS WITH BANKRUPTCY OF CORPORATIONS,
FINANCIAL ISSUE HAS DEVELOPED IN REGARD TO LOCAL AND STATE
GOVERNMENTS TAKING ON MULTIPLE P3 CONTRACTS AND NOT BEING ABLE
TO PAY THE HIGHER YEARLY COSTS. WHY IS NOVA SCOTIA GOING FORWARD
WITH P3 PROJECTS WHEN OTHER JURISDICTIONS ARE
JUSTIFIABLY ABANDONING THE FAILING MODEL AND NOVA SCOTIA’S
OWN RECORD WITH P3S, ISN’T IT RISKY AND IRRESPONSIBLE
DECISIONS TO GO AHEAD WITH NEW P3 BUILDS WITHOUT REVEALING THE
FULL DETAILS AND WHEN THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT POINT TO A
SINGLE P3 SUCCESS STORY?
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?>>I DON’T KNOW WHERE THOSE
FACTS ARE FROM, BUT WE FEEL WE HAVE MANY P3 SUCCESS STORIES.
I’D ALSO LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT WE WENT OUT AND GOT $90 MILLION
FOR THIS PROJECT FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND WE
REALLY WANT TO THANK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THAT.
THAT’S INCREMENTAL MONEY. WE’RE PAYING ZERO INTEREST ON
THAT, AND GUESS NOT, WE’RE NOT REPAYING THE PRINCIPAL.
SO THAT COMES RIGHT OFF THE TOP OF THE PROJECT.
THAT’S ESSENTIALLY FOUND MONEY. IT’S MONEY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT DIDN’T ALLOCATE PER CAPITA TO NOVA SCOTIA.
WE HAD TO COMPETE NATIONALLY WITH OTHER PROJECTS ACROSS
CANADA, AND SO THAT, TO ME, IS — WAS A MAJOR BENEFIT OF THIS
PROJECT, AND I THINK WE SOMETIMES FORGET THAT.
IN FACT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE EXACT FIGURE IS, BUT IF WE ADD
IN THE INTERCHANGE THAT WAS ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK IN
BRIDGEWATER, A BRAND NEW INTERCHANGE TO EXPAND BOTH THE
MUNICIPAL AND THE TOWN INDUSTRIAL PARKS, IF WE ADD IN
THE WINDSOR JUNCTION PROJECT HERE IN HALIFAX AND THE PORT
COMPONENT OF THAT PROJECT, WHICH WILL BE OF SIGNIFICANT BENEFIT
FOR MOVING GOODS AND SERVICES OUT OF NOVA SCOTIA AND ALSO FOR
COMMUTERS WHO GO THROUGH THE — >>The Chair: WE’LL GET BACK TO
THE QUESTION.>>YEAH, I’LL GET THERE IN A
MINUTE. IF WE ADD ALL THAT UP, WE’LL
FIND WE’RE SOMEWHERE AROUND 170 MILLION IN INCREMENTAL MONEY FOR
THESE PROJECTS WHICH TAKE OFF THE TOP AN OBLIGATION OF NOVA
SCOTIA TAXPAYERS. SO ON THE QUESTION, AND MAYBE
I’VE GIVEN A SPEECH TOO LONG THAT I DON’T REMEMBER THE
QUESTION, BUT I’M NOT SURE WE AGREE WITH SOME OF THOSE
ASSERTIONS.>>The Chair: OKAY, MS. LEBLANC?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. I’M GOING TO MOVE ON AND CHANGE
TACK A LITTLE BIT. IN APRIL A STAFF PERSON WITH THE
A GROUP FILED AN FOI REQUEST FOR THE RFP FOR THIS CONTRACT.
THERE WAS A FEE ESTIMATE OF $1100 FOR RETRIEVAL OF THE
DOCUMENTS. CUPE PAID THE FEEL AND THE
RETRIEVAL PROCESS BEGAN, BUT IN JULY THE STAFF MEMBER WAS
INFORMED THAT THE REQUEST WAS CANCELLED.
THE RFP WAS RELEASED IN JANUARY. IS IT STILL THE SAME DOCUMENT
TODAY AS IT WAS THEN? HAS THE GOVERNMENT BEEN REVISING
IT IN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE BIDDERS?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>THE RFP PROCESS IS
CONFIDENTIAL. IT’S AN ESTABLISHED PROCESS BY
WHICH WE’RE GOING TO GET COMPETITIVE BIDS FROM EACH OF
THE THREE BIDDERS, AND TO GET INTO THE DETAILS OF THAT
SUBVERTS THE PROCESS AND REALLY RISKS THE TIMELINE OF THE
PROJECT AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROCESS.
>>The Chair: OKAY. MS. LEBLANC?
MS. HARLAND, I’M GOING TO ASK IF YOU COULD JUST SPEAK IN A LITTLE
CLOSER.>>THANKS.
TO BE CLEAR I’M NOT ASKING FOR THE DETAILS OF THE RFP, ALTHOUGH
I THINK THAT WOULD BE GREAT TO KNOW.
BUT I’M ASKING FOR THE RFP WAS CHANGED FROM THE BEGINNING OF
THE PROCESS TO WHERE WE ARE NOW. I’M WONDERING IF THE DEPUTY
MINISTER COULD TELL THE COMMITTEE IF HE BELIEVES THAT IT
WOULD BE ETHICAL FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO INVOLVE BIDDERS ON
A QUARTER BILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT IN THE DRAFTING OF THE
RFP >>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>THE RFP PROCESS IS ESTABLISHED.
I’M NOT SURE THE PROCESS IS DIFFERENT FROM THE QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE RFP ITSELF. THIS IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED WAY
OF TENDERING P3 PROJECTS THAT WE ARE FOLLOWING.
WE’RE NOT DEVIATING FROM THAT PROCESS.
BUT UNFORTUNATELY AT THIS POINT, TO GET A VERY COMPETITIVE — TO
MAINTAIN THE COMPETITIVE TENSION THAT WE HAVE AMONG THE THREE
BIDDERS, IT’S JUST NOT APPROPRIATE AND IN FACT IT’S —
IT COULD REALLY DERAIL THE PROCESS IF WE START GOING
OUTSIDE THE CONFIDENTIALITY ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS THAT
WE’RE BOUND BY.>>The Chair: MS. LEBLANC?
>>SO TO BE CLEAR, THE DEPARTMENT IS NOT GOING TO
ANSWER THE QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT THE RFP CHANGED FROM WHEN IT
WAS FIRST RELEASED, WHEN THE RFP WAS FIRST SENT OUT, TO WHERE IT
IS NOW. I ONLY WANT — I DON’T WANT TO
KNOW THE DETAILS. I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF IT WAS
CHANGED. I’M WONDERING IF THE DEPUTY
MINISTER COULD CONFIRM THE FACT THAT THE RFP IS STILL A WORK IN
PROGRESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT THE DOCUMENT WILL
BE RELEASED TO THE CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES.
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.>>PETER, DO YOU WANT TO — I’M
NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION.
>>IT’S UNDER FOIPP . . . [INDISCERNIBLE].
>>YEAH, WE’RE NOT SURE WE UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION.
SO WE CAN TAKE SOME TIME TO FIGURE THAT OUT.
>>The Chair: MS. LEBLANC?>>SO THE CANADIAN UNION OF
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES APPLIED FOR THE INFORMATION THROUGH A FOIPP
REQUEST. IT STARTED TO BE FILLED, THAT
REQUEST, AND THEN WAS CANCELLED. SO THE CUPE WILL NOT GET TO SEE
THE — HANG ON — THE INFORMATION THAT THEY ASKED FOR.
SO I’M JUST WONDERING IF YOU CAN CONFIRM THE REASON WHY IT WAS
CANCELLED. WAS THEIR REQUEST CANCELLED WAS
THE RFP IS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS?
>>I DON’T GET TO CANCEL FOIPP OP REQUESTS.
I’M CONFUSED. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CANCELLED?
>>AS I SAID EARLIER, CUPE APPLIED THROUGH FOIPP OP.
THEY WERE CHARGED $1100, WHICH THEY PAID, TO GET THE
INFORMATION OF THE RFP, AND THEN HALFWAY THROUGH WAITING FOR THAT
INFORMATION THEY WERE TOLD BY A FOIPP OP OFFICER THAT THEY WOULD
NOT BE GETTING THE INFORMATION. SO THEY STARTED THAT PROCESS OF
RELEASING THE INFORMATION AND THEN STOPPED THE PROCESS.
AND I’M WONDERING IF YOU CAN CONFIRM THAT THE REASON THEY
STOPPED THE PROCESS WAS BECAUSE THE RFP IS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS.
>>I CAN’T CONFIRM ANYTHING ABOUT THE RFP AT THIS POINT, AND
I CAN’T CONFIRM ANYTHING ABOUT THE FOIPP OP BECAUSE THAT’S DONE
THROUGH A DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT. SO I’M NOT AWARE OF THIS
INCIDENT AT ALL. WE CAN LOOK INTO IT.
SINCE THE FOIPP OP WAS FILED BY A PRIVATE PARTY, I’M NOT SURE I
CAN TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT IT, BUT IT WOULD BE A QUESTION FOR
DEPUTY MUNROE.>>The Chair: MS. LEBLANC, ONE
MINUTE.>>THANK YOU.
CAN YOU TELL US WHY THE RFP BEING PROVIDED TO PRIVATE
COMPANIES FOR FREE, WHY IS IT BEING PROVIDED TO PRIVATE
COMPANIES FOR FREE WHEN NOVA SCOTIAN RESIDENTS ARE ASKED TO
PAY $1100 FOR A COPY OF IT? WHY WON’T THE GOVERNMENT RELEASE
THE RFP AND ALL DOCUMENTS RELATED TO SERVICE LEVELS SO
THAT ANTIGONISH AND PICTOU COUNTY RESIDENTS WILL BE ASSURED
THEY GET THE SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE AS EVERY OTHER AREA IN
THE PROVINCE?>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?
MR. HACKETT?>>WE’RE JUST DISCUSSING.
SO WE’RE CONFUSED ABOUT THIS FOIPP OP THING, BECAUSE THAT’S
NOT OUR GAME. BUT THE RFP FOR FREE STATEMENT,
THE PUBLIC — JANICE WILL ANSWER THAT.
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND, YOU HAVE 25 SECONDS.
>>THE RFP, THE BODY OF THE RFP, CAN BE SHARED AFTER THE PROCUREMENT IS DONE.
PROVIDING IT FOR FREE — WE’RE ASKING BIDDERS TO EXPEND
LITERALLY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS GOING THROUGH THIS PROCESS.
THE FACT THAT WE HAVEN’T CHARGED THEM FOR THE DOCUMENT THAT
THEY’LL NEED TO DO THAT — >>BUT THEY —
>>The Chair: ORDER, PLEASE. THE TIME FOR THE NDP CAUCUS HAS
EXPIRED. WE’LL GO TO THE LIBERAL CAUCUS,
MS. LOHNES-CROFT.>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
DID YOU HAVE ANY OTHER COMMENTS YOU WANTED TO ADD TO YOUR LAST
QUESTION?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>WELL, I JUST WANT TO — >>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?
>>I JUST WANT TO REITERATE, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, JANICE CAN
CORRECT ME, THE DOCUMENT WILL BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC FOR FREE
ONCE THE PROCESS IS OVER. IS THAT CORRECT?
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>THE MAIN BODY OF THE RFP THAT
SEEMS TO BE OF INTEREST HERE, YES.
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE. >>IF YOU WANT TO FOIPP OP
SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, THEY DON’T NECESSARILY SAY GIVE ME THE
DOCUMENT. THEY HAVE A — THEY WORD IT IN A
VERY DIFFERENT WAY, AND HOW THAT’S CHARGED AND CALCULATED BY
WHAT IS NOW THE SERVICE NOVA SCOTIA INTERNAL SERVICE
DEPARTMENT IS NOT A QUESTION I CAN ANSWER.
BUT THEY MAY NOT HAVE EXACTLY FOIPP OPED WHAT PEOPLE THINK
THEY FOIPP OPED. THAT’S A PRIVACY ISSUE.
I DON’T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT WAS FOIPP OPED.
SO SOMEONE WILL, YOU KNOW — YOU’D HAVE TO GO BACK TO CUPE
AND SAY WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU FOIPP OP.
ARE YOU WILLING TO RELEASE THAT TO THE PUBLIC, ET CETERA, AND TO
ME IT’S NOT THE SAME. WE’RE APPLES AND ORANGES HERE.
WE’RE GOING TO GIVE THE DOCUMENT TO THE PUBLIC WHEN THE PROCESS
IS OVER. THE ESSENTIALS OF THE DOCUMENT,
JUST LIKE THE COMPANY GOT THEM, AND THAT’S WHERE IT’S GOING TO
GO. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FOIPP OP
IS ABOUT. A LOT OF PEOPLE SEND IN FOIPP
OPS THAT SAY GIVE ME EVERYTHING ABOUT A P3 HIGHWAY IN
ANTIGONISH. WELL, THAT’S NOT THE SAME AS WE
REQUESTED THE DOCUMENT. SO IT’S VERY — IT’S KIND OF
CONFUSING FOR US WHAT WAS ASKED. WE DON’T KNOW.
>>The Chair: MS. LOHNES-CROFT. >>THANK YOU.
I’M GOING TO GO BACK TO BEFORE, IF YOU DON’T MIND.
AND I BELIEVE IT WAS IN 2016 THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT DID A
PROVINCE-WIDE CONSULTATION REGARDING TWINNING HIGHWAYS AND
TOLLING. WAS IT 2016?
>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?>>YES, 2016 AND ENDED AT THE
BEGINNING OF 2017.>>The Chair: MS. LOHNES-CROFT?
>>THANK YOU. SO I ATTENDED.
THERE WERE TWO CONSULTATIONS IN MY AREA.
I DO RECOGNIZE THAT SOME OF THESE FACES WERE THERE.
WE HELD ONE IN BRIDGEWATER, AND THERE WAS ALSO ONE AT OAK
ISLAND. AND I THINK AT THAT — THE
CONSULTATIONS THAT I ATTENDED, THERE WAS AN OVERWHELMING NUMBER
OF PEOPLE WHO REJECTED TOLLING. IS THAT WHAT YOU PERCEIVED FROM
THAT CONSULTATION?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>WELL, I THINK IN GENERAL AT THE END OF THE ENTIRE
CONSULTATION PROCESS THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE THERE WAS — YOU
KNOW, IT WAS SORT OF — I THINK IT WAS MIXED DEPENDING ON WHERE
YOU WENT FOR COMMUNITY, BUT I THINK OVERALL IT SEEMED LIKE THE
GENERAL CONSENSUS WAS THE PUBLIC WANTED TWINNED HIGHWAYS AND
SAFER HIGHWAYS TO THE COMMUNITIES, BUT THEY DIDN’T
WANT TO PAY A TOLL TO GET THERE. THAT WAS KIND OF THE — AND THAT
WAS THE CONSENSUS THAT CAME OUT OF THE STUDY, AND AT THE END OF
IT, THE GOVERNMENT WENT WITH, YOU KNOW, SOME CONVENTIONAL
METHODS AND THEN OBVIOUSLY THE P3.
>>SO WOULD YOU SAY THAT THAT WAS GENERALLY THE OPINION
THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE, NOT JUST IN, LIKE, LUNENBURG COUNTY,
WHERE I REPRESENT?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>IT WAS — SO THERE WERE CERTAIN POCKETS OF THE PROVINCE
THAT WERE PROBABLY MORE LEANING THAT THEY WOULD TAKE A TOLL, AND
THERE WERE SOME PARTS OF THE PROVINCE THAT THEY WOULDN’T TAKE
A TOLL. BUT IF YOU LOOKED AT THE — I
THINK THERE WERE 16 CONSULTATIONS DONE AROUND THE
PROVINCE, 16 OR 13. I THINK IF YOU LOOKED AT THEM ON
THE OVERALL, FROM THE PUBLIC, YOU’D PROBABLY GET A LITTLE BIT
BELOW 50% WERE AGAINST — IT WAS A LITTLE ABOVE 50% WERE AGAINST
TOLLS. SO THE PROVINCE — THE
GOVERNMENT DECIDED THAT TOLLS WOULDN’T BE THE WAY TO TWIN THE
HIGHWAYS.>>The Chair: MS. LOHNES-CROFT?
>>THANK YOU. THERE WERE OTHER SUGGESTIONS,
YOU KNOW, IN MY AREA THERE WERE JERSEY BARRIERS PUT UP INSTEAD
OF TWINNING, MORE PASSING LANES ON THE 103.
I MEAN, WE HAD A DEATH THERE JUST AS RECENTLY AS FRIDAY.
I TRAVEL IT ONCE A WEEK.
WHAT OTHER ALTERNATIVES DO WE HAVE TO TWINNING?
LIKE, ARE THOSE THE ONLY ONES?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>TO MAKE IT — >>YEAH, SO ON — JUST BASICALLY
STICK TO 100 SERIES HIGHWAYS, AND THERE ARE SEVERAL SECTIONS
— SO JUST IF I CAN GO BACK A LITTLE BIT TO THE CONSULTATION
PROCESS BACK IN 2016, THERE WERE 300 KILOMETRES OF ROAD THAT WERE
IDENTIFIED IN THAT PROCESS. SOME WERE TWINNING AND SOME WERE
NOT. I THINK THERE WAS ABOUT 80
KILOMETRES THAT WERE MAYBE 90 KILOMETRES THAT WERE NOT
TWINNING THAT WAS ACROSS CAPE BRETON ISLAND, WHICH WOULD BE A
BRAND NEW CONTROLLED ACCESS HIGHWAY.
THAT WAS PART OF THE PROCESS, BUT IT WASN’T GOING TO BE
TWINNED. THE OTHER WE’LL SAY 200
KILOMETRES WERE BASICALLY TWINNED HIGHWAYS, AND SO THE
SECTIONS WERE OBVIOUSLY FROM TAN TOW TO BRIDGEWATER, THE 107 FROM
BEDFORD TO PORTERS LAKE, THE 101 THAT WOULD COMPLETE THE SECTION
THROUGH WINDSOR WE’RE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW AND CARRIED ON TO THE
OTHER SIDE OF COLEBROOK, AND FINISHED OFF THE 104 TO THE
CAUSEWAY. THOSE ARE THE SECTIONS THAT WERE
LOOKED AT AS PART OF THAT CONSULTATION.
WE CHOSE THE ONES THAT WE’RE PICKING BASED ON THE FACT THAT
THAT’S WHERE THE MOST TRAFFIC IS AND WE HAVE A LOT OF THE HIGHEST
COLLISION RATES, OR SOMEWHERES AROUND THAT.
AND SO THE REMAINDER OF IT THAT WE DON’T GET TWINNED, WE’RE
LOOKING AT SOME OTHER OPTIONS. IF WE USE THE 103, FOR EXAMPLE,
THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES ON THE 103 TO DO TWO PLUS ONES, WHICH
ARE BASICALLY WHAT YOU’D SEE ON THE VALLEY FLOOR BETWEEN BURR
WICK AND MIDDLETON WHERE WE HAVE AN ADDITIONAL — IT’S LIKE A
CLIMBING LANE, BUT YOU’RE ON A FLAT NOT A HILL, AND IT PROVIDES
YOU WITH A PASSING AREA. SO THOSE ARE USED DOWN IN THE
VALLEY. WE’RE LOOKING AT THOSE FOR THE
103 AND SOME OF THE OTHER AREAS THAT WE WON’T GET TO TWINNING
FOR SOME TIME. SO THAT’S ANOTHER OPTION THAT WE
COULD GET INTO, AND OUR DEPARTMENT IS LOOKING AT THOSE,
WHICH I THINK THE 103 IS ONE OF THE CANDIDATES, BETWEEN HUBBARDS
AND BRIDGEWATER. AND THEN IF WE COME IN AND TWIN
THOSE SECTIONS, WE WOULD TAKE THOSE OUT AND CREATE TWINNING.
>>The Chair: MS. LOHNES-CROFT?>>EVEN AS MY TIME IN 2013
BECOMING AN MLA AND TRAVELLING THE 103 EVERY WEEK, IN THE LAST
TWO YEARS I’VE NOTICED AN INCREDIBLE INCREASE IN TRAFFIC.
CAN YOU CONFIRM THAT? YOU MUST DO TRAFFIC COUNTS ON
THE HIGHWAYS AND COMPARISONS.>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>GO AHEAD, PAUL.>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.
>>IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I BOUGHT A PROPERTY DOWN THERE,
BUT PETER CAN PROBABLY CONFIRM THE TRAFFIC COUNTS BETTER THAN I
CAN.>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>I DON’T HAVE THE EXACT NUMBERS IN COMPARISON FROM, SAY,
2013 TO 2019. I MEAN, I CAN GET THAT FFGS FOR
YOU. WE DO TRAFFIC COUNTS ON THE 100
SERIES EVERY YEAR. WE HAVE A TRAFFIC BOOK FOR THOSE
THAT I CAN CERTAINLY GET TO YOU. BUT WE DO KNOW THAT THE SECTION
THAT WE’RE TWINNING RIGHT NOW BETWEEN TAN TALLON AND HUBBARDS
IS PROBABLY THE BUSIEST SECTION WITH THE MOST TRAFFIC.
THERE IS — TRAFFIC DOES DIE OFF A LITTLE BIT BETWEEN THE NEXT
INTERCHANGE, AND THEN IT GOES DOWN QUITE A BIT BETWEEN THE
NEXT TWO INTERCHANGES I THINK AND THEN IT RAMPS BACK UP IN
AROUND EXIT 11 TO EXIT 13 AROUND BRIDGEWATER.
BUT I COULDN’T TELL YOU WHAT THE INCREMENTAL PERCENTAGE CHANGES
ARE, BUT WE DO KNOW WHERE THE ACTUAL HIGHEST VEHICLE COUNTS
COME. AND WE’RE TWINNING THE FIRST
PART. AND THEN WE CAN SEE IF WE CAN
GET BEYOND THAT.>>The Chair: THANK YOU.
I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO KEEP IN MIND, PLEASE, THAT TODAY’S TOPIC
IS ABOUT 3P BETWEEN ANTIGONISH AND PICTOU COUNTY, AND WE SEEM
TO BE — MS. LOHNES-CROFT?>>SO A SMALL PROVINCE LIKE NOVA
SCOTIA, AND WE’VE HEARD THE DEPUTY MINISTER SPEAK TO THE
COST OF — THAT WE DO INVEST IN OUR HIGHWAYS AND IN
CONSTRUCTION. WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES FOR A
SMALL PROVINCE LIKE US TO BUILD HIGHWAYS?
I UNDERSTAND FROM THE CONSULTATION IN 2016 IT WOULD
TAKE 20 YEARS FOR US TO DO THE TWINNING THAT WAS PROPOSED AT
THE CONSULTATION IF WE DID NOT TOLL.
SO WHAT ALTERNATIVES DO WE HAVE TO FINANCE TWINNED HIGHWAYS IN
THE LOCATIONS THAT YOU DEEMED REALLY FOR SAFETY REASONS
IMPORTANT FOR OUR PROVINCE WHAT ALTERNATIVES DO WE HAVE FOR NOVA
SCOTIA TO PAY FOR SUCH CONSTRUCTION?
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?>>I GUESS ONE ALTERNATIVE,
WHICH WAS AN OPTION AND WHICH WAS RULED OUT BY THE PEOPLE OF
NOVA SCOTIA IS TOLLS, AND THAT’S AN ALTERNATIVE TAKEN ALL OVER
NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE, AND WE DECIDED AS A PROVINCE, THE
PUBLIC DECIDED THEY WOULD NOT LIKE TOLLS.
SO WE MOVED ON FROM THAT TO OTHER OPTIONS TO DO THE
FINANCING. AND THE CONSTRUCTION.
SO WE CAN’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THERE ARE OTHER
BENEFITS THAN JUST THE FINANCING TO THIS, AND THE FINANCING IS
NOT OFF BOOK. MR. SPICER IS OVER THERE, AND HE
CAN TELL YOU THAT THAT CHANGED YEARS AGO.
SO PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT THIS IS ABOUT OFF-BOOK FINANCING, OR
SOME OTHER THING, THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT.
A LOT OF THIS IS ABOUT BUILDING IT QUICKER, DOING IT MORE
EFFICIENTLY, GETTING THE SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS EARLIER FOR NOVA
SCOTIANS, AND GETTING A GUARANTEED PRICE WITH ON-TIME
DELIVERY. THAT’S WHAT A LOT OF IT IS
ABOUT. IT DOESN’T APPLY TO ALL SECTIONS
OF HIGHWAY. YOU SEE WE HAD FOUR SECTIONS
THAT PETER DESCRIBED, AND WE’RE DOING A P3, A FULL P3.
WE ALWAYS DO SOME ELEMENT OF P3 EVERYWHERE IN EVERYTHING WE DO,
BUT THIS IS A FULL P3 WITH THE MAINTENANCE INCLUDED.
WE’RE ONLY DOING IT ON THAT ONE SECTION OF THE 104 BECAUSE WE
DEEMED, THROUGH THE VALUE-FOR-MONEY ASSESSMENT THAT
THAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT SECTION.
WE WOULD HAVE APPLIED SIMILAR THINKING TO OTHER SECTIONS, AND
WE DEEMED THAT THE OTHER SECTIONS WOULD NOT HAVE A
SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH BENEFIT THROUGH DOING A P3, THROUGH
DOING IT ONE OR TWO OF ANOTHER TYPE OF APPROACH.
>>The Chair: MS. LOHNES-CROFT?>>THANK YOU.
SO IN THE TWINNING OF THE HIGHWAY 104, BETWEEN ANTIGONISH
AND PICTOU, HOW MUCH ARE WE CONTRIBUTING AS A PROVINCE?
DO WE KNOW THAT? TO THAT PROJECT.
>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?>>WE’VE GOT THE $90 MILLION
THROUGH THE NATIONAL TRADE CORRIDORS FUND THAT WAS ALREADY
MENTIONED. GOING BACK TO THE FACT THAT
WE’RE IN A COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT AND WE REALLY WANT
TO MAINTAIN GOVERNMENT’S POSITION, NEGOTIATION POSITION,
WE DON’T WANT TO GIVE THAT AWAY AT THIS POINT.
SO THE ACTUAL, YOU KNOW, EXPECTED COSTS ARE SOMETHING
THAT WE’RE MAINTAINING CONFIDENTIALITY AROUND AND NOT
SHARING, BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT — WE WANT TO MAINTAIN THE
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THAT WE HAVE.
>>The Chair: MS. LOHNES-CROFT?>>THANK YOU. I’LL LET MY COLLEAGUE NEXT TO
ME, MR. JESSOME, QUESTION NOW.>>The Chair: MR. JESSOME.
>>I’LL JUST QUICKLY — AND I GUESS IN THE CONTEXT OF WE’RE
TRYING TO IDENTIFY THE EXPECTATIONS OF NOVA SCOTIANS
WITH RESPECT TO ALL PROJECTS IN THE PAST — IN THE FUTURE
SEVERAL YEARS. WITH RESPECT TO THE
CONSULTATIONS THAT TOOK PLACE THAT MY COLLEAGUE MS.
LOHNES-CROFT REFERRED TO, WHAT WAS THE CONSENSUS, WHAT WAS THE
CONCLUSION WITH RESPECT TO TIMELINESS THAT CAME FORWARD
THROUGH THOSE CONSULTATIONS, THE EXPECTATIONS OF NOVA
SCOTIANS?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>I THINK BACK TO WHAT I MENTIONED BEFORE, THAT I THINK
NOVA SCOTIANS WANTED THEIR HIGHWAYS TWINNED, THEY DIDN’T
WANT TO PAY FOR THE TOLL TO DO IT.
SO WE ENDED UP, YOU KNOW, BASICALLY LOOKING AT WHAT WE
COULD DO WITH THE FINANCING THAT WE HAD, AND FROM THAT WE CHOSE
THE PROJECTS THAT WE DEEMED TO BE THE MOST, I GUESS, THE
HIGHEST TRAFFIC VOLUMES, AROUND THE HIGHEST TRAFFIC VOLUMES THAT
WOULD HAVE SOME OF THE HIGHEST COLLISION RATES.
SO NOVA SCOTIANS WANT THEIR HIGHWAYS TWINNED, BUT DIDN’T
WANT TO PAY THAT TOLL FOR IT. IN GENERAL.
I’M NOT SAYING IT’S EVERYWHERE, EVERY POCKET.
BUT GOING BACK TO THE TWINNED HIGHWAY SITUATION AND GOING BACK
TO MS. LOHNES-CROFT’S ORIGINAL POINT SHE MADE ABOUT HIGHWAYS
AND ROADS, I MEAN, HUNDRED SERIES HIGHWAYS ARE GETTING
BUSIER IN THE PROVINCE. WE SEE THAT EACH YEAR.
WE SEE MORE TRUCKS ON THE HIGHWAYS.
WE SEE MORE CARS ON THE HIGHWAYS.
WE SEE MORE TRAVELLERS AND VISITORS, AND SO IT IS
IMPERATIVE TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR HIGHWAYS ARE AS SAFE AS
POSSIBLE, AND THAT IS THE WHOLE PROMISE BEHIND THE TWINNING
PROGRAM. IT’S TO MAKE YOUR HIGHWAYS
SAFER. IT’S TO MOVE GOODS AND SERVICES
IN THE PROVINCE A LOT QUICKER AND MAKE SURE THEY GET TO MARKET
AND MAKE SURE PEOPLE GET TO WHERE THEY HAVE TO GO.
AND SO THAT WAS — I JUST WANT TO GO BACK TO THE P3 ISSUE WITH
THE 104 IS WE DON’T THINK WE WOULD HAVE GOT THERE WITHOUT
DOING A P3 ON HIGHWAY 104, OR DOING IT IN THIS DIRECTION.
OTHERWISE IT WOULD TAKE US MANY, MANY YEARS TO GET THERE.
AND IF THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE WANT US TO DO AND NOT DO LIKE WE DID
ON THE PASS AND COME IN AND DO IT IN 20 MONTHS.
WE DID THAT PASS, WE HAD THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN, WE HAD THREE
FATALITIES A YEAR, AND NOW WE’RE LESS THAN, YOU KNOW, 0.8 OR
SOMETHING. SO THAT’S SORT OF THE PREMISE OF
THE DEPARTMENT. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO
HERE IS TO MAKE THE ROAD SAFER, MAKE THEM BETTER FOR THE
TRAVELLING PUBLIC. WE’RE TRYING TO BALANCE THAT,
OBVIOUSLY, WITH THE FINANCING BEHIND IT TOO.
AND WE KNOW THAT AS YOU MENTIONED WE ARE A PROVINCE THAT
HAS LIMITED RESOURCES, AND WE’RE TRYING TO STRETCH THOSE
RESOURCES AS BEST WE CAN TO GET THE PRODUCT THAT WE’RE LOOKING
FOR FOR THE SAFETY AND THE MOVING — THE SAFETY OF THE
PUBLIC AND THE MOVING OF GOODS.>>The Chair: MR. JESSOME.
>>THANK YOU, AND I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE RESPECT THAT
WISH AND CERTAINLY MAINTAIN THE DEPARTMENT’S POSITION TO
CONSIDER BOTH EXPEDITING THE PROCESS WITH COST EFFECTIVENESS.
IN SAYING THAT, MS. LEBLANC’S LINE OF QUESTIONING TOUCHED ON I
GUESS THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN HISTORIC METHODS OF COMPLETING
THESE PROJECTS AND WHAT WE’VE CHOSEN TO DO HERE TODAY.
I’M WONDERING, IT WAS REFERRED TO I BELIEVE BY MR. HACKETT THAT
SAID THAT THERE WERE TYPES OF RESPONSIBILITIES THAT THE
PROVINCE WAS I GUESS WILLING TO DIVEST TO THE CONTRACTOR AND
POTENTIALLY ASSUME LESS RISK ONGOING.
MR. HACKETT, WOULD YOU MIND, THROUGH THE CHAIR, TALKING A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES THE PROVINCE WOULD
HAVE TRADITIONALLY TAKING ON IN A TRADITIONAL MODEL VERSUS WHAT
MIGHT BE ASSUMED BY A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR?
>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT.>>SO I’M NOT GOING TO SPECIFICALLY TALK ABOUT THE
ANTIGONISH PROJECT, BUT I’LL TALK ABOUT THE PASS BECAUSE THAT
IS A P3 WE CURRENTLY DO HAVE. AND THEY ARE GENERAL COMPARISONS
HERE. THEY ARE NOT EXACT BY ANY MEANS.
ON THE COB QUID PASS, THE CONSORTIUM AND AGENCY LOOK AFTER
THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS OF THE PASS.
SO IN THE PROVINCE ALL OF OUR HIGHWAY SYSTEMS HAVE A LEVEL OF
SERVICE. SO WE’RE SUPPOSED TO — OUR
DEPARTMENT’S SUPPOSED TO FILL POTHOLES AND FIX GUARDRAILS AND
MAINTAIN BRIDGES AT A CERTAIN TIME AND DATE AND HAVE IT DONE
WITHIN A — THERE’S A REQUIREMENT TIME ON LEVEL OF
SERVICE. THAT’S ON THE SAME AS OUR WINTER
OPERATIONS. SO WHEN WE PLOW HIGHWAYS, 100
SERIES IS PLOWED A CERTAIN TIME AFTER A STORE AND LOCAL ROADS
ARE ANOTHER LEVEL OF SERVICE. SO THOSE SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE
ARE APPLIED TO THE 104 CORPORATION AND THE P3, BUT THE
DEPARTMENT DOESN’T LOOK AFTER MAINTAINING THAT LEVEL OF
SERVICE. IT’S GIVEN TO THE CONSORTIUM,
AND THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO MEET ALL THOSE REQUIREMENTS, THE SAME
AS THE DEPARTMENT WOULD, BUT THEY LOOK AFTER THEM AND THEY’RE
PAID FOR, IN THAT CASE, UNDER THE TOLL SYSTEM.
BUT THAT’S THE TYPE OF RISK THAT WE WOULD TRANSFER OVER TO THE
CONSORTIUM, IS THE OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF THE HIGHWAY
ITSELF. AS WELL AS ANYTHING ELSE THAT
HAPPENS UP THERE, THINGS LIKE IF THERE’S AN ACCIDENT ON THE
HIGHWAY OR IF THERE’S DEBRIS ON THE HIGHWAY OR IF THE HIGHWAY
HAS TO BE CLOSED, THAT’S ALL DONE — IT’S OUR HIGHWAY, BUT
IT’S DONE THROUGH THE CONSORTIUM.
THEY LOOK AFTER THE WHOLE OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF
THE ROADS. THAT’S THE TYPE OF RISKS YOU
HAND OVER TO THEM, AS WELL AS, LIKE, ACCIDENTS, CLEANUPS, THAT
SORT OF THING AS WELL. I THINK THAT’S PRETTY MUCH ON
THE OPERATIONS SIDE OF IT. AND THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT
GO ALONG WITH HIGHWAY RISK AS WELL, LIKE ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS
— IF THE ROAD, LET’S SAY, FOR INSTANCE, A CULVERT FAILED OR IF
THE ASPHALT BECAME SO BAD THAT THEY HAD TO REPAVE IT, THAT IS
ALL THE RISK WE TRANSFER TO THE P3 CONSORTIUM AT THE PASS.
>>The Chair: THANK YOU, MR. JESSOME WITH TWO MINUTES LEFT.
>>TWO MINUTES. SO DARE I ASK IT.
HOW DO WE LOOK TO MAINTAIN THESE ROADS WITHOUT TOLLS?
I THINK THAT’S AN IMPORTANT QUESTION TO ASK.>>The Chair: WHERE ARE WE
GOING? MS. SAURETTE.
>>WELL, IF WE HAD AN UNLIMITED BUDGET, WE COULD MAINTAIN THEM,
BUT IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE. OUR DEPARTMENT IS ONLY ONE OF
MANY DEPARTMENTS, AND GOVERNMENT, WE HAVE A BUDGET AND
WE GET SO MUCH REVENUE TO HELP OFFSET OUR BUDGET, AND IT’S A
BALANCE. IT COMES DOWN TO PRIORITY AND
WHERE ARE THE NEEDS AND DOING THINGS TRADITIONALLY.
WE HAVE A FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL PLAN, SO WE LONG-TERM PLAN.
WE HAVE A PLAN AFTER THE CAPITAL PLAN AS WELL, BUT IT REALLY
COMES DOWN TO BUDGET AND WHAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE IN TERMS
OF TO BE ABLE TO SPEND. SO IT’S — IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT
FOR US TO SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, WE CAN MEET ALL THOSE STANDARDS
DOING THINGS STATUS QUO, MORE TRADITIONALLY THAN WHAT WE DO.
IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO WE KNOW WHAT OUR HIGHWAY SYSTEM IS LIKE
IN OUR PROVINCE, AND SO WE DO THE BEST THAT WE CAN WITH THE
BUDGET, BUT WE ALSO LOOK AT WHAT ARE SOME OTHER OPTIONS, WHAT ARE
SOME OTHER FUNDING POTS THAT WE CAN ACCESS.
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE VERY CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR FEDERAL
DEPARTMENT.>>The Chair: ORDER, PLEASE.
SORRY, THE TIME FOR THE LIBERAL CAUCUS HAS EXPIRED, WHICH ALLOWS
FOR 12 MINUTES FOR THE SECOND ROUND FOR EACH OF THE CAUCUSES.
WE’LL GO RIGHT TO MR. HALMAN. >>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
DEPUTY MINISTER, YOU INDICATED THAT THERE ARE MANY P3 SUCCESS
STORIES IN NOVA SCOTIA’S HISTORY.
CAN YOU PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF HIGHWAY-BASED P3S THAT ENDED UP
COSTING NOVA SCOTIANS LESS THAN IF IT WAS SIMPLY DONE THROUGH
THE TRADITIONAL PROCUREMENT SYSTEM?
COULD YOU PROVIDE SOME SPECIFICS OF SUCCESS STORIES, PLEASE?
>>The Chair: MS. SAURETTE?>>I’LL TRY TO ANSWER THAT ONE.
THE ONLY ONE THAT WE HAVE IS THE COB QUID PASS.
SO THAT’S UNDER A 30-YEAR BOND FINANCING.
WE’RE GOING INTO YEAR 23. THE EXPECTATION IS THAT WE’RE
GOING TO BE IN A PLACE TO PAY OFF THE BONDS IN EARLY 2020.
YOU KNOW, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE HIGHWAY ITSELF, IT WAS BUILT
GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF KILOMETRES, OVER 45 KILOMETRES, IT WAS BUILT
VERY — YOU KNOW, QUICKER THAN WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE TRADITIONALLY.
YOU KNOW, WE LOOK AT THE CONDITION AND THE QUALITY OF THE
HIGHWAY. WE DON’T JUST LOOK AT THE COST.
WE LOOK AT THE WHOLE PROJECT. BUT IF WE WERE TO BUILD THAT
HIGHWAY TRADITIONALLY, WE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE JUST BEEN IN
THE LAST FIVE YEARS OPENING IT. SO THAT’S REALLY THE ONLY ONE
THAT WE CAN SPEAK TO BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY ONE THAT WE HAVE,
AND WE’RE GOING TO BE IN A PLACE SOON TO BE ABLE TO PAY THE DEBT
ON IT.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?
>>ARE THERE ANY OTHER EXAMPLES THAT YOU CAN CITE, OR IS THAT THE SOLE EXAMPLE?
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?>>WE’RE JUST DISCUSSING HERE
HOW MANY P3 HIGHWAYS WE HAVE, AND I THINK THE ONLY THINGS WE
CAN THINK OF IN TERMS OF HIGHWAYS WOULD BE THE 104 COB
QUID THAT WE’VE BUILT. SO ONE FOR ONE IS BETTER THAN
MOST ARE HITTING THESE DAYS. THE OTHER EXAMPLES WE WOULD HAVE
WOULD BE THE TWO HARBOUR BRIDGES, WHICH IS A SEPARATE
AGENCY SET UP. IT DOES HAVE ITS OWN STATUS.
IT’S GOT A BOARD, AND IT DOES BORROW MONEY.
IT DOES COLLECT TOLLS. AND WE ARE VERY SATISFIED.
WE FEEL THE BIG LIFT, WHICH WAS ONLY THE SECOND TIME THAT’S BEEN
DONE IN NORTH AMERICA, WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE OF A
CORPORATION INNOVATING, TAKING RISKS AND COMING UP WITH A BIG
SUCCESS. SO WE’RE QUITE HAPPY WITH THESE
EXAMPLES, THE 104 AND THE HARBOUR BRIDGES WOULD BE THE OTHER ONE.
>>The Chair: MS. SAURETTE?>>I THINK THE OTHER THING I
JUST WANT TO CLARIFY IS THAT UNLIKE — IS IT THE 407 IN
TORONTO? YEAH.
THE COB QUID IS A PROVINCIAL CROWN CORPORATION.
SO THE REVENUE GOES TO THE PROVINCE.
THAT’S WHY WE’RE IN A PLACE THAT WE CAN PAY THE DEBT SOON.
SO THE REVENUE RISK, ONE OF THE RISKS THAT WAS TRANSFERRED OR
DIDN’T GET TRANSFERRED IS IT STAYED WITH THE PROVINCE.
SO IT’S OUR PROVINCIAL CROWN. IT’S ONE OF OUR GBES.
IT’S A SEPARATE CROWN CORPORATION BECAUSE OF THE TOLL
BECAUSE THE TOLL IS VERY — IT’S VERY SPECIFIC IN THE LEGISLATION
AS TO WHAT THE TOLL CAN BE USED FOR.
CAN’T BUILD A SKOL OR SCHOOL OR A HOSPITAL.
IT STAYS WITH THE CROWN. BUT WE ARE IN A PLACE BECAUSE WE
OWN IT AND THE REVENUE IS OURS, THE EXCESS REVENUE, SO YOU KNOW,
WE’RE IN A PLACE SOON TO BE ABLE TO PAY THAT DEBT DOWN.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
THIS SUMMER I TOOK MY KIDS TO NEW BRUNSWICK, QUEBEC AND
ONTARIO, AND THEY HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THE DIFFERENT
INFRASTRUCTURE THAT EXISTS IN OUR DIFFERENT PROVINCES.
AND CERTAINLY I HAD MY KIDS ON HIGHWAY 407, AND THEY CERTAINLY
APPRECIATED AVOIDING HIGHWAY 401.
THE REASON I SAY THIS IS OFTEN HERE IN NOVA SCOTIA WE DO
JURISDICTIONAL SCAN, BEST PRACTICES THROUGHOUT CANADA.
WHEN IT COMES TO THESE TYPES OF HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTIONS, DO WE DO
A JURISDICTIONAL SCAN WITH OTHER PROVINCES TO SEE WHAT BEST
PRACTICES ARE? IS THERE ANY INFORMATION YOU CAN PROVIDE US WITH THAT?>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?
>>YES, WE’VE LOOKED AT — THE ANSWER IS YES.
WE DID THAT ALSO AS PART OF THE FEASIBILITY STUDY WE DID FOR
THIS. WE LOOKED AT THAT, BUT SOME OF
THE EXAMPLES, HEAVILY PROMOTED RECENTLY, IN FACT ALL OF THE
DEPUTIES HAVE HAD MULTIPLE PRESENTATIONS ON THIS, IS THE
REGINA BYPASS IN SASKATCHEWAN, THE EXTENSION OF THE 407, AS
WELL AS THE ORIGINAL 407 IN ONTARIO.
THE CONSTRUCTION THAT’S GOING ON NOW FOR THE 427 IN ONTARIO.
AND THE NEXT PHASE OF THE REGINA BYPASS ARE JUST SOME EXAMPLES,
BUT WE SCAN ACROSS NORTH AMERICA BASICALLY TO LOOK AT WHAT’S BEEN
DONE ELSEWHERE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE LIKE
TO DO IS SEE WHERE THERE’S BEEN OTHER SUCCESSES, AND FAILURES,
AND LESSONS LEARNED. SO WHEN WE STARTED DOWN THE P3
ROAD BACK IN THE MID-’90S WITH BOB MOODIE OF EDUCATION AND WE
DID SOME SCHOOLS, WE WERE BASICALLY THE FIRST IN THE GAME
IN CANADA. WE WERE REALLY AT THE FRONT END
OF THE INNOVATION. THINGS HAVE GONE A LONG WAY
SINCE THEN. A LOT OF LESSONS LEARNED
EVERYWHERE WHERE PEOPLE HAVE DONE P3S.
WE INCORPORATE THOSE LESSONS INTO THE MODEL WE’RE LOOKING AT
TODAY. SO OTHER P3S THAT WE’VE DONE
RECENTLY OR PLAN TO DO, WE HAD A P3 WHICH UNFORTUNATELY NEW
BRUNSWICK PULLED OUT OF ON MOBILE RADIO, TRUNK RADIO.
IT WAS BEFORE YOUR TIME, MEMBER HALMAN, BUT YOUR PREDECESSOR
WOULD REMEMBER THAT WELL. WE ENDED UP DOING IT OURSELVES
IN A NON-P3 BECAUSE IT BECAME MUCH SMALLER.
BUT WE HAVE A P3 WITHOUT THE MAINTENANCE UP AT THE NEW
CONVENTION CENTRE, THE NOVA CENTRE.
SO FAR GOING VERY WELL, DELIVERED WITHIN THE LONG-STOP
DATE AND ON BUDGET, SO WE’RE VERY SATISFIED WITH THAT P3 SO
FAR. AND AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, WE
HAVE A NUMBER OF P3 SCHOOLS WHICH I WON’T SPEAK TO BECAUSE I
HAVE NO REAL KNOWLEDGE OF THEM. THEY WERE DONE IN THE ’90S.
AND I THINK THE BURNSIDE — WHAT DO YOU CALL IT?
NOT THE JAIL BUT — I GOT THE WRONG NAME FOR IT.
IT’S CALLED THE MORGUE SOMEWHERE ELSE, BUT IT’S CALLED SOMETHING
ELSE HERE. ANYWAY, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M
TALKING ABOUT. IT’S WHERE PEOPLE GO AND INSPECT
HOW PEOPLE DIED. I’M SURE THE MEDIA KNOW WHAT
THAT IS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS, PETER?
>>NO, I DON’T.>>IT’S CALLED THE MORGUE IN A
LOT OF PLACES.>>The Chair: I THINK WE’LL COME
BACK TO THAT.>>THAT WAS DONE AS A P3.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>SO IT’S CERTAINLY OUT THERE
THAT OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING IN TERMS OF STUDIES THAT ARE DONE
LARGELY ON REVIEWING SEVERAL AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORTS THAT
IN SOME CASES THE P3 APPROACH HAS RESULTED IN FAILURE IN TERMS
OF COSTS, RISK MANAGEMENT AND EVIDENCE-BASED DECISIONMAKING.
AND THAT COST NOVA SCOTIANS TENS OF MILLIONS MORE THAN THE
TRADITIONAL PROCUREMENT PROCESS. I’M CURIOUS AS TO I SUPPOSE WHAT
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES HAVE THE DEPARTMENT PUT IN PLACE TO
MITIGATE FUTURE FAILURES IN TERMS OF COST AND RISK
MANAGEMENT? BECAUSE CERTAINLY THERE ARE I
BELIEVE — WELL, THERE ARE EXAMPLES OF SUCCESS.
UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE EXAMPLES WHERE IT DIDN’T WORK OUT.
SO WHAT POLICIES HAVE YOU PUT IN PLACE TO MITIGATE POTENTIAL FAILURES?
>>>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>I THINK AS HAS BEEN SAID, WE’RE FOLLOWING ESTABLISHED
PROCESSES. WE’RE SPEAKING TO OTHERS THAT
HAVE DONE SIMILAR PROJECTS, LEARNING FROM THEIR LESSONS
LEARNED. YOU KNOW, THE VALUE FOR MONEY,
THE MARKET SOUNDING, THE PROCESSES THAT WE’RE FOLLOWING,
THESE ARE ALL PROCESSES THAT HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED, REFINED
AS PROJECTS AND TIMES MOVE ALONG.
SO WE’RE WORKING WITH THE — YOU KNOW, THE BENEFIT OF THE
EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS AND OUR OWN EXPERIENCES.
>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
ONE OF THE SUPPORTING RESEARCH DOCUMENTS THAT WAS SENT MENTIONS
HOW MAINTENANCE WORK ON THE ROAD, ON THE TOLL ROAD, WAS
CONSIDERED SOLE SOURCE. NOW FROM MY UNDERSTANDING,
THERE’S NO COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCESS INVOLVED IN THE COSTING
AND IN THE WORK THAT IS UNDERTAKEN WITH MAINTENANCE.
WILL THIS P3 PROJECT, WILL IT CONTAIN ANY WORK THAT WILL BE
NEEDED THAT WILL BE CONSIDERED SOLE SOURCE, IN OTHER WORDS, NO
COMPETITION FOR MAINTENANCE? IT’S JUST — IF YOU HAVE
COMMENTS ON THAT, PLEASE.>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>SO AGAIN, WITHOUT GETTING INTO DETAILS OF THE PROCUREMENT,
THE VERY NATURE OF DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE, OPERATE,
MAINTAIN P3-TYPE PROJECT IS THAT THE PROPONENTS THAT ARE AWARDED
THE WORK, THEY’VE — IT’S BASED ON THEIR PROPOSAL AND THEIR
COSTING. SO IT’S PART OF THE — IT’S A
PART OF THE OVERALL PACKAGE. IT’S NOT SOMETHING SEPARATE FROM
THE OVERALL PROCUREMENT.>>The Chair: MR. HALMAN WITH
ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT.>>THANK YOU.
THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. IN YOUR OPINION, IS SOLE SOURCE,
DOES THAT PROVIDE GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW,
ONCE SOMEONE HAS A CONTRACT OR FIVE YEARS TO PROVIDE
MAINTENANCE, DO YOU THINK THAT SHOULD BE OPENED UP TO
COMPETITION?>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.
>>THAT’S REALLY A QUESTION FOR MY COLLEAGUE DEPUTY MUNROE
BECAUSE SHE’S IN CHARGE OF PROCUREMENT, AND IT’S REALLY A
PROCUREMENT QUESTION, BUT WE HAVE ALL SORTS OF INTERNATIONAL
AND NATIONAL AGREEMENTS WE HAVE TO FOLLOW WITH RESPECT TO
PROCUREMENT. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THINGS ARE
NEEDED ON AN URGENT BASIS, FOR INSTANCE, WE’RE PROBABLY IN A
PERIOD OF THAT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF THE STORM, AND SOMETIMES SOLE
SOURCING, YOU KNOW, JUST DOESN’T DELIVER YOU THE PRODUCT YOU NEED
— SORRY, SOMETIMES COMPETITIVE BIDS AND THE FULL PROCESS
DOESN’T DELIVER YOU THE PRODUCT YOU NEED IN TIME, FOR INSTANCE
IF NOVA SCOTIA POWER NEEDED TO REPLACE A COUPLE OF GENERATORS
UP ON A POLE AND THEY WENT TO A COMPETITIVE BID AND IT TOOK
THREE MONTHS TO GET THE GENERATORS, PEOPLE WOULD BE OUT
OF POWER FOR A LONG TIME. SO SOMETIMES THEY JUST HAVE TO
QUICKLY SOLE SOURCE THOSE GENERATORS OR THE WHATEVER PIECE
OF EQUIPMENT THEY NEED. WE DO THAT FROM TIME TO TIME
WHEN THERE’S AN EMERGENCY OR WHEN THERE’S ONLY ONE SUPPLIER
OF A PARTICULAR PRODUCT. THAT HAPPENS, AND THEN YOUR JOB
IS — IF THERE’S ONLY ONE SUPPLIER, YOUR JOB IS TO
NEGOTIATE THE BEST DEAL YOU CAN WITH THAT SUPPLIER, AND THERE
ARE OTHER WAYS YOU CAN GAIN LEVERAGE, AND YOU WORK HARD ON
THAT TO DO THAT. BUT GENERALLY NO, SOLE SOURCE IS
NOT A TOOL WE WOULD USE. BUT FROM TIME TO TIME WE HAVE TO
SOLE SOURCE, AND IT’S IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PUBLIC.
>>The Chair: ORDER, PLEASE. THE TIME FOR THE PC CAUCUS HAS
EXPIRED, SO MS. ROBERTS, THE NDP, YOU HAVE 12 MINUTES.
>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. PEOPLE IN NOVA SCOTIA ARE
WORRIED ABOUT THE SAFETY CONSEQUENCES OF OUTSOURCING THE
CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF OUR HE’S, PARTICULARLY BASED ON
THE EXPERIENCE IN NEW BRUNSWICK WHERE P3 HIGHWAYS WERE CLOSED
MOST DAYS OF ANY HIGHWAYS LAST WINTER.
WE UNDERSTAND THAT PASSING LANES WERE FREQUENTLY UNDRIVABLE AND
IT OFTEN TOOK MORE THAN 36 HOURS AFTER A SNOWFALL FOR THOSE P3
HIGHWAYS TO BE CLEARED. AND CLEARLY THIS IS VERY
IMPORTANT BOTH FOR EHS PARAMEDICS, THE RCMP, BUT ALSO
JUST FOR GENERAL TRAVELLERS. AND LAST YEAR — OR THIS YEAR,
THE NEW BRUNSWICK AUDITOR GENERAL FOUND THAT DECISIONS TO
OUTSOURCE HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE WORK WERE MADE
ON A SUBJECTIVE BASIS WITHOUT ADEQUATE EVIDENCE AND DISCOVERED
THAT THERE WASN’T AN ADEQUATE DECISIONMAKING FRAMEWORK FOR
DETERMINING WHICH PROGRAMS AND CONSTRUCTION TASKS TO OUTSOURCE.
AND FINALLY, THE AUDITOR GENERAL ALSO FOUND IN NEW BRUNSWICK THAT
OUTSOURCING THESE PROGRAMS CAME AT A HIGHER COST AND THAT
GOVERNMENT RESPONDED TO PRIVATE SECTOR REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL
WORK WHICH COST TAXPAYERS MORE. SO AT THIS POINT I WONDER IF THE
DEPUTY MINISTER CAN CONFIRM THAT ADDITIONAL KILOMETRES OF
MAINTENANCE WORK ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT WAS INCLUDED IN THE
ORIGINAL STRETCH OF HIGHWAY TO BE TWINNED, FROM SOUTHERLAND’S
RIVER TO ANTIGONISH, WERE ADDED TO THE RFP AT BIDDERS’ REQUEST.
>>FIRST OF ALL, THE CONSTRUCTION PART, I’LL PASS IT
ON TO PETER HACKETT FOR THE MAINTENANCE.
WE ALMOST ALWAYS OUTSOURCE CONSTRUCTION.
IT’S DONE NOW — THERE’S NO CONSTRUCTION IN HOUSE THAT I
KNOW OF, SO IT’S — THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS.
SO I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS HERE.
WHEN WE TENDERED HIGHWAY 103, I THINK IT’S DEXTER THAT HAS THAT
JOB, SO THAT’S OUTSOURCED TO DEXTER, AND THEY ARE DOING THE
CONSTRUCTION. THERE IS NO IN-HOUSE CREW THAT
WOULD HAVE DONE THE 103 TWINNING, SO THE QUESTION IS NOT
— I DON’T KNOW HOW TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION BECAUSE THERE’S NO
BASE OF IN-HOUSE CONSTRUCTION. ON THE MAINTENANCE SIDE, I’LL
LET PETER HACKETT GO FOR IT.>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>SO I GUESS THE FIRST THING IS I CAN’T COMMENT WITH REGARD TO
NEW BRUNSWICK. SO NEW BRUNSWICK HAS COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT HIGHWAY STANDARDS THAN NOVA SCOTIA.
THEY DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY WITH REGARD TO SNOW REMOVAL AND THEY
DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY WITH MAINTENANCE AS WELL, SO WE HAVE
DIFFERENT STANDARDS. WE ARE VERY TIGHT WITH NEW
BRUNSWICK, P.E.I. AND NEWFOUNDLAND IN THE WAY WE
DISCUSS THINGS, BUT WE DON’T DO THINGS THE SAME WAY, SO I CAN’T
COMMENT ON WHAT THEY DO IN NEW BRUNSWICK.
IN NOVA SCOTIA WE OBVIOUSLY HAVE THE PASS THAT WE — AS I
MENTIONED BEFORE. WE DO THE MAINTENANCE AND
OPERATIONS THERE. THE CONSORTIUM DOES, THE AGENCY
DOES ALL THOSE SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE AS THE REST OF THE
PROVINCE AND WE HAVE CAVEATS IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT’S DONE
AS GOOD IF NOT BETTER THAN WHAT THE OTHER 100 SERIES ARE.
WE ALSO HAVE — WE DO PRIVATE WORK, PRIVATE COMPANIES DO WORK
FOR US ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. WE HIRE PRIVATE TRUCKS TO DO
WORK FOR US IN THE WINTERTIME BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH
OPERATORS TO DO THE WORK, WHICH IS ANOTHER ISSUE THAT WE HAVE
WITHIN THE PROVINCE, BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY.
WHEN THOSE PRIVATE CONTRACTORS ARE HIRED, THEY DO THE SAME
LEVEL OF SERVICE, THE SAME WORK AS OUR NORMAL OPERATORS OR
IN-HOUSE PEOPLE WOULD DO. SO HELD TO THE SAME LEVEL OF
STANDARD THAT WE HAVE IN THE PROVINCE.
THAT HAS NEVER REALLY BEEN AN ISSUE WITH OUTSOURCING TO
PRIVATE COMPANIES TO DO WORK FOR US.
WE’VE ALWAYS KEPT THEM AT THE SAME STANDARD.
THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN SOME SORT OF CAVEAT OR PENALTIES INVOLVED
THIS IF THEY DON’T. BUT WITH REGARD TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT THE LENGTH OF THE PROJECT
AND EXPANDING IT FURTHER FOR MORE MAINTENANCE, THAT WAS
DECIDED BEFORE THE PROJECT WENT TO TENDER.
WE KNEAD THAT DECISION THAT WE’D HAVE A BIGGER SECTION OF
MAINTENANCE BECAUSE IT MADE MORE SENSE BY VOLUME.
>>The Chair: I’M GOING BACK TO MS. ROBERTS FIRST TO MAKE SURE
THAT YOU WANT TO CONTINUE ON THIS VEIN?
>>I’M GOING TO ASK A QUICK FOLLOW-UP RELATED TO
MAINTENANCE. CAN WE ASSURE RESIDENTS OF
ANTIGONISH COUNTY IN TERMS OF WHAT THE STANDARD WILL BE FOR
SNOWFALL REMOVAL FROM THIS HIGHWAY?
WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS OF CLEARANCE?
WILL IT BE EXPECTED TO BE FULL CLEARANCE OR WILL PARTIAL DO?
AND HOW WILL THE PROVINCE BE MONITORING THE STANDARD OF
MAINTENANCE, INCLUDING SNOW CLEARING, AFTER THIS PROJECT IS
COMPLETED?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>I CAN’T COMMENT WITH REGARD WHAT’S IN THE CONTRACT OF
GUARANTEES AND CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS BECAUSE, AS WE SAID,
IT’S OUR — WE WOULD EXPECT THE CONSORTIUM TO DO THE SAME LEVEL
OF SERVICE, IF NOT BETTER LEVEL OF SERVICE THAT WE CURRENTLY
HAVE ON 100 SERIES HIGHWAYS.>>The Chair: MR. La FLECHE.
>>I JUST WANT TO EMPHASIZE ON THE MAINTENANCE SIDE.
WE DON’T CONTRACT OUT FOR QUALITY REASONS.
IT’S BECAUSE THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT WE HAVE.
THE LARGE EQUIPMENT IS NOT GOOD FOR SUBDIVISIONS.
SOMETIMES IT’S BETTER FOR A TOWN OR MUNICIPALITY TO DO THE
MAINTENANCE BECAUSE OF PROXIMITY REASON, AND WE DO A FLIP WITH
THEM. THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF REASONS,
BUT WE ARE VERY, VERY SATISFIED WITH THE QUALITY OF OUR INTERNAL
WORKFORCE, VERY PROUD OF THEM. THEY DO A GREAT JOB.
IN FACT, THEY’RE OUT THERE NOW HELPING HOPEFULLY TO RESTORE
POWER BY ASSISTING NOVA SCOTIA POWER.
AND THEY’VE ALWAYS GIVEN US GREAT SERVICE.
IT’S NOT ABOUT THAT. IT’S ABOUT CONVENIENCE AND
EFFICIENCY FOR NOVA SCOTIANS.>>The Chair: MS. ROBERTS?
>>I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE ASSERTION THAT THIS HAD TO BE A
P3 PROJECT IN ORDER TO GET IT BUILT QUICKLY.
WE DID HAVE THE $90 MILLION COMMITMENT FROM THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT ON THE TABLE MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, AND WE ALSO HAD
MADE A PROVINCIAL COMMITMENT IN 2017.
IF THIS HAD BEEN PURSUED AS A PUBLIC PROJECT AND THERE WASN’T
THE NECESSITY TO GO THROUGH THIS LONG RFP PROCUREMENT NEGOTIATION
WITH THE THREE COMPETITIVE BIDDERS AND SO FORTH, MIGHT WE
NOT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SEEING WORK ON THIS PROJECT PROCEEDING?
>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?>>I CAN SPEAK TO THE
ENGINEERING PART OF IT. I’LL LET OTHERS SPEAK TO THE
FINANCIAL PART OF IT. SO ON THE KUL CONSTRUCTION PART,
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW ON THE WAY THE DEPARTMENT WAS DOING THEIR
PRIORITIES, WE DID THE PIECE IN ANTIGONISH.
THAT WAS THE LAST PIECE OF TWINNING WE DID DOWN THAT WAY,
AND THEN WE DID THE 125 IN SYDNEY.
THAT WAS A PIECE WE HAD BASED ON VOLUME ISSUES.
AND THERE WAS TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND THAT SORT OF THING.
SO THOSE WERE DONE. THE NEXT PIECES WE’RE GOING TO
IS THE 103 AND THE 101. THE 101 WAS A SECTION THROUGH
WINDSOR THAT WAS ORPHANED. ALL THOSE THINGS WERE PREPARED
AND DESIGNED AND PLANNED. SO IT WAS ALREADY READY TO GO TO
TENDER WHENEVER WE HAD THE FUNDING TO GO.
THE 104 SECTION WASN’T ON THE RADAR.
WE HAD NO ENGINEERING DONE. WE HAD NO TECHNICAL DONE, NO
RIGHT-OF-WAY DONE. WE REALLY DIDN’T HAVE — WE HAD
AN ALIGNMENT TO SOME EXTENT, BUT NOT A FULL ALIANT.
WE STILL DON’T REALLY HAVE THOSE THINGS DONE, EXCEPT FOR THE LAND
THAT WE’RE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW AND KIND OF THE LINE OF
ALIGNMENT THAT WILL BE DONE BY THE CONSORTIUM. BECAUSE THE PREP TIME WOULD HAVE
TAKEN LONGER, AND I’M NOT SURE ABOUT THE FINANCING BECAUSE A
LOT OF THESE PROJECTS WE DO PIECE BY PIECE BY PEEZ BECAUSE
OF THE FACT WE HAVE SO MUCH DESIGN AND THEN GET
BECAUSE THE PREP TIME WOULD HAVE TAKEN LONGER, AND I’M NOT SURE
THE FINANCING FOR IT.>>The Chair: MS. ROBERTS?
>>I’M JUST WONDERING, WITH THE $09 MILLION COMMITMENT FROM THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WAS THAT CONTINGENT ON THE PROJECT BEING
A P3?>>The Chair: MS. HARLAND?
>>THAT WAS PART OF THE PROPOSAL, AND THAT IS WHAT THEY
CONTRIBUTED TO.>>SO IF THAT WAS FRAMED BY THE
PROVINCE THAT IT WOULD BE A P3 PROJECT WHEN THE FEDERAL FUNDING WAS REQUESTED? SERIES HIGHWAY TO THE SUTHERLAND
RIVER, THROUGH BARNEY’S RIVER STRETCH, WHICH IS MUCH MORE —
YOU KNOW, MUCH MORE RURAL AND DOESN’T INVOLVE THAT LEVEL OF
COMPLICATION.>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT.
>>YEAH, THERE ARE TWO SORT OF A LITTLE BIT SEPARATE, THE
ANTIGONISH SECTION IS A LITTLE BIT MORE URBAN JUST BECAUSE, AS
YOU MENTIONED, THE INTERCHANGE IS THROUGH THERE.
SO THERE ARE TWO OR THREE INTERCHANGES, AND THEN
>>THAT YOU’RE GOING KIND OF AROUND MORE — YOU KNOW, LIKE I
SAY, MORE URBAN SETTINGS, MORE BUILDINGS, MORE HOMES, THAT SORT
OF LAYOUT AROUND THE HIGHWAY. BUT IT’S PRETTY RURAL AND
STRAIGHT THERE. THE ONLY SECTION THAT WOULD BE
DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU SEE TODAY OTHER THAN THE TWINNING IS
THE SECTION AROUND BARNEY’S RIVER.
THAT SECTION NOW GOES MORE TO THE NORTH AND WE’RE GOING TO GO
TO THE SOUTH OF THAT TO MAKE IT A COMPLETE FOUR LANES, ABOUT 10
KILOMETRES LONG OF NEW FOUR LANES.
THE OLD SECTION THROUGH BARNEY’S RIVER WAS AN OLD DESIGN.
IT’S OLD ENGINEERING WHERE THEY KIND OF FOLLOWED THE CONTOURS OF
THE MOUNTAIN. OF WE’RE TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM
THAT TO MAKE IT A BETTER GEOMETRY.
WE CAN DO IT A LITTLE FASTER AND SAFER.
>>The Chair: MS. ROBERTS WITH A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT.
>>WE’VE BUILT A LOT OF HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE IN THIS PROVINCE,
AND WE CONTINUE TO INVEST AND PRIORITIZE A LOT, PRIORITIZE
BUILDING THE PRO-BUSTNESS OF THE 100 SERIES
HIGHWAY. OVERALL, HAVE WE SEEN COLLISION
RATES DECREASED AS MORE HIGHWAYS ARE TWINNED?
>>YEAH, ABSOLUTELY. THERE IS A — WE DO HAVE RECORDS
THAT SHOW THAT THE — I’LL GO WITH THE FATALITY RATES GO DOWN.
THERE IS STILL COLLISIONS ON 100 SERIES HIGHWAYS, BUT THE
FATALITIES THAT WE HAD — AND I’LL SAY 100 SERIES HIGHWAYS
TWINNED. SO TWINNED HIGHWAYS THAT ARE 100
SERIES DO GO DOWN. THERE ARE STILL COLLISIONS ON
100 SERIES HIGHWAYS. OBVIOUSLY SPEED AND INATTENTIVE
AND THAT SORT OF THING THAT WE SEE MORE OF, BUT THE FATALITIES
WHERE YOU HAVE THESE HEAD-ON COLLISIONS AND MULTIPLE VEHICLES
INVOLVED, WHEN YOU GET TO A TWINNED HIGHWAY, THE STATISTICS
SHOW THAT YOU’RE GETTING LESS FATALITIES.
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE?>>I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT
TWINNING IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE THAT PURPOSE.
BUT WE TEND TO DEFAULT TO TWINNING.
THERE ARE OTHER WAYS, AND WE HAVE EMPLOYED SOME OF THOSE
OTHER WAYS IN THE PROVINCE, BUT IN THESE — BECAUSE OF THE
NATURE OF THE TRADE CORRIDOR HERE AND THE 104, TWINNING WAS
FELT TO BE THE CORRECT SOLUTION.>>The Chair: THE TIME FOR THE
NDP CAUCUS HAS EXPIRED. WE’LL NOW GO FOR THE FINAL 12
MINUTES TO THE LIBERAL CAUCUS, MR. MacKAY.
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO THOSE
TO THE WITNESSES WHO HAVE BEEN PARTICIPATING TODAY.
IT’S BEEN VERY INFORMATIVE SO FAR.
I JUST WANT TO GO BACK TO THE QUESTION ABOUT SNOW REMOVAL DOWN
IN ANTIGONISH, AND I RECOGNIZE THE OPPOSITION MEMBERS HERE
TODAY ARE ALL FROM THE BEAUTIFUL CITY OF THE LAKE, DARTMOUTH, AND
THEREFORE MAY NOT BE AS AWARE OF THE STANDARDS FOR
SNOW REMOVAL HERE IN THE PROVINCE.
AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT ONCE WE HIT OUR WINTER MONTHS, THAT
WILL BE ONE OF THE NUMBER ONE TOPICS THAT PEOPLE ARE CONTACTING MY OFFICE ABOUT.
BUT IT IS VERY, VERY RARE, ALMOST UNHEARD OF, THAT WE GET A
COMPLAINT OR QUESTION ABOUT SNOW REMOVAL ON THE 100 SERIES
HIGHWAYS. YOUR PERFORMANCE ON THAT IS
OUTSTANDING AND I DON’T WANT TO TAKE AWAY ANYTHING FROM OUR
NEIGHBOURS IN NEW BRUNSWICK. AS YOU SAY, THEY HAVE DIFFERENT
STANDARDS. THEY HAVE DIFFERENT WEATHER
PATTERNS, BUT YOUR WORK IS VERY GOOD, AND I DON’T THINK THAT THE
FOLKS IN ANTIGONISH NEED TO BE TOO CONCERNED ABOUT SNOW
CLEARANCE ON THE 104 THROUGH THEIR AREA.
SOMEWHAT RELATED TO THAT AND THE MENTIONING OF FATALITY
REDUCTIONS, MR. HACKETT, PERHAPS YOU COULD CONFIRM THAT I BELIEVE
I HEARD EARLIER BUT THE LAST QUESTIONS BROUGHT UP THE TOPIC
OF REDUCTIONS OF ACCIDENTS AND FATALITIES, AND I THINK YOU
QUOTED SOME STATISTICS FROM THE COB QUID PASS THAT WOULD
INDICATE THAT THERE WAS A REDUCTION IN FATALITIES ON THAT
P3 PROGRAM. COULD YOU REPEAT THOSE FOR THE
BENEFIT OF THE COMMITTEE?>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?
>>YES, SO BEFORE THE COB QUID PASS WAS BUILT AND THE 104,
WHICH IS NOW TRUNK 4, RAN THROUGH MASS TOWN UP THROUGH
CHESTER STATION, IT WAS THE 104. IT WAS A TWO-LANE HIGHWAY, AND
IT WAS A TWO-LANE HIGHWAY AS I MENTIONED EARLIER ABOUT THE
BARNEY’S RIVER IS THAT IT’S AN OLD DESIGN, WHERE HIGHWAYS WERE
BUILT AROUND THE CONTOURS OF A MOUNTAIN AND THEY USED THE
MOUNTAIN AS THEIR BASIC GEOMETRY.
AND SO THROUGH THAT SECTION OF HIGHWAY WE WERE EXPERIENCING
UPWARD OF MAYBE 3 OR MORE FATALITIES A YEAR.
WHEN THEY WENT AND OPENED UP THE PASS AND FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS
THAT’S BEEN OPEN, OR 20 PLUS YEARS, THE AVERAGE FATALITY RATE
IS AROUND 0.8 OR 0.5, SOMEWHERES IN THAT RATE.
SO IT’S LESS THAN ONE NOW, ONE A YEAR.
YOU MIGHT GET MORE IN ONE YEAR AND NONE IN ANOTHER YEAR.
IT’S A LOT LESS THAN WHAT IT WAS.
>>The Chair: MR. MacKAY.>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
SO YOU WOULD CERTAINLY AGREE, THEN, THAT THERE HAS BEEN, IN
FACT, NOT A GREATER SAFETY RISK WITH A P3 PROJECT BUT, IN FACT
IN THAT CASE THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN TRAFFIC
FATALITIES AND RISK TO THE PUBLIC.
>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?>>SO YEAH, IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT
THAT AS THE P3, I GUESS THE BIGGEST PART THERE ON THE P3 WAS
THE FACT THAT AS MENTIONED EARLIER, IT WAS BUILT IN 20
MONTHS. SO IT OPENED UP.
OBVIOUSLY AS WE SAID IT WAS — THERE’S LESS FATALITIES NOW THAT
IT’S OPENED UP, BUT YOU GOT IT QUICKER SO THERE WAS LESS
FATALITIES AFTER THAT WAS BUILT. SO 20 MONTHS IS VERY QUICK.
AND IF YOU DID IT LONGER, THEN YOU’D HAVE TO KEEP THE OTHER
HIGHWAY OPEN AND THERE WOULD BE MORE FATALITIES IF THAT WAS
OPEN. FOR THAT REASON ALONE, THE PASS
AND OPENING THAT UP TO A P3, THAT WAS A SUCCESS.
>>The Chair: MR. MacKAY.>>THANK YOU FOR THAT.
I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO TOUCH BASE ON A PREVIOUS SUBJECT HERE ON
THE FEDERAL SUPPORT, AND AS I UNDERSTAND FROM THE DEPUTY,
THERE WAS $90 MILLION PROVIDED THROUGH THE NATIONAL TRADE
CORRIDORS FUND. OF COURSE I FREQUENTLY TRAVEL
THE 403 BECAUSE THE TWINNING ON THE 103 THAT IS OCCURRING IS
ENTIRELY WITHIN MY CONSTITUENCY AND I SEE THOSE GREAT BIG SIGNS
THAT TALK ABOUT FEDERAL AS WELL AS PROVINCIAL SUPPORT THERE.
SO THE SUPPORT IN THOSE IS NOT COME FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE
CORRIDORS FUND. IS IT COMES FROM THE FEDERAL
INFRASTRUCTURE BANK OR HOW DID THEY PROVIDE THAT FUNDING?
WHAT’S THEIR MECHANISM?>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.
>>SO THAT’S A LITTLE COMPLEX BECAUSE I THINK YOU MAY BE
SEEING SIGNS FOR THE INGRAM PORT INTERCHANGE.
DO THE FEDS CONTRIBUTE TO THAT? YES.
SO THE TWINNING AND THE INTERCHANGE ARE TWO DIFFERENT
PROJECTS. THE INTERCHANGE HAD A FEDERAL
CONTRIBUTION. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW HOW
MUCH THAT WAS. DOES ANYBODY?
>>NO, BUT . . . >>OKAY, SO THAT WAS DONE PRIOR,
AND THAT DID HAVE A FEDERAL CONTRIBUTION.
THE TWINNING SECTION OF THE 103 THAT YOU SEE GOING ON NOW BETWEEN EXITS 5 AND 6, THAT’S
CANTALON, IF I PRONOUNCED THAT CORRECTLY.
I’M FROM THE NORTH END WHERE MS. ROBERTS COMES FROM, NOT THE CITY
OF LAKES. SO I MIGHT PRONOUNCE THINGS
POORLY. SO CANTALON TO HUBBARDS, THAT IS
PROVINCIALLY PAID, I BELIEVE 100%; IS THAT CORRECT?
THE TWINNING.>>[INDISCERNIBLE].
>>THAT’S A COST SHARE?>>YES.
>>SO THAT’S A COST SHARE ALSO, BUT THAT’S A SEPARATE COST
SHARE, AND MS. SAURETTE IS PULLING OUT THE NUMBERS RIGHT NOW.
>>The Chair: MS. SAURETTE?>>HI, THERE.
UPPER CANTALON TO HUBBARDS?
OKAY.>>WHILE SHE’S LOOKING FOR THE
NUMBER, I’LL EXPLAIN SOMETHING.>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.
>>THE INGRAM PORT INTERCHANGE AND THIS COST SHARING ON THE TANTALON TO HUBBARDS ARE PART OF
THE OLD NEW BUILD CANADA. GET THE IRONY OF THAT.
THERE WAS A BUILD CANADA AND A NEW BUILD CANADA, AND THAT WAS
UNDER A PREVIOUS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
OKAY? SO THE NEW BUILD CANADA PHASED
OUT, AND WE HAD MONEY LEFT IN, WHICH WE APPLIED TO SEVERAL
PROJECTS, AND YOU’LL SEE THAT COST SHARING.
UNDER THE NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM THAT WAS BROUGHT IN IN
2016 BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS ELECTED IN 2015, THERE
IS ACTUALLY NO HIGHWAY MONEY, OKAY, FOR PROVINCES.
>>[INDISCERNIBLE]. >>I’M DRILLING TOO FAR DOWN.
SO THE ONLY ACCESS WERE FOR THINGS THAT ARE CONSIDERED TRADE
CORRIDORS, WHICH IS NOT PART OF THE CORE INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM.
AND THAT’S WHERE WE GOT THE 104 MONEY, FROM TRADE CORRIDORS,
WHICH IS NOT PART OF THE BASE ALLOCATION OF THE PROVINCE.
>>The Chair: MR. MacKAY.>>I DON’T NEED THE SPECIFIC
NUMBERS, MS. SAURETTE. THANK YOU FOR DILIGENTLY LOOKING
FOR THEM THERE, BUT THAT WAS NOT THE NATURE OF MY QUESTION.
IT WAS BECAUSE I HAD SEEN THE SIGNS AND WAS WELL AWARE THAT
THAT WAS A COST SHARE PROJECT. I JUST WANTED TO CLARIFY THE
DIFFERENCE, THAT WE RECEIVE MONEY SPECIFICALLY FROM THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE P3 PROJECT BECAUSE — FOR THE 104
BECAUSE IT IS PART OF THE NATIONAL TRADES CORRIDORS FUND
AND WE WOULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED THAT MONEY OTHERWISE, THAT $90
MILLION TOP-UP, AS YOU SAID, THAT IT WASN’T COMING FROM
SOMETHING LIKE THE OLD NEW PROGRAM OR THE NEW OLD PROGRAM
OR SUCH.>>YEAH.
[INDISCERNIBLE] >>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE.
>>SORRY, IT’S THE NEW NEW PROGRAM THE HIGHWAYS ARE NOT
ELIGIBLE, SO THE ONLY WAY WAS TO GO THROUGH A COMPETITIVE PROCESS
FOR NONSENSUS ALLOCATED MONEY FROM OTTAWA WHERE WE ACTUALLY
HAVE TO WIN PART OF THE — AT THAT TIME WAS IT ABOUT $1
BILLION AVAILABLE ACROSS CANADA? NOVA SCOTIA ACTUALLY SCORED IN
THE FOUR PROJECTS WE GOT THE PREMIER STATED THIS LAST WEEK
170 ODD MILLION, WHICH IS WAY ABOVE OUR POPULATION PERCENTAGE
OF THAT COMPETITIVE PROCESS.>>The Chair: MS. SAURETTE, YOU
HAVE A BRIEF RESPONSE TO MR. MacKAY.
>>YEAH, JUST ON THE TWINNING PROGRAM, IT’S APPROXIMATELY
CLOSE TO A BILLION DOLLARS IF WE LOOK AT ALL OF THE SECTIONS OF
HIGHWAY AND ALL THAT. IN FEDERAL FUNDING WE’RE OVER
$400 MILLION IS WHAT WE’RE GETTING FROM THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT FROM VARIOUS FUNDS, WHETHER IT’S OUR NEW NEW
BUILDING CANADA FUND, WHICH IS OUR ALLOCATION BASED.
SO WE GET IT BASED ON POPULATION.
HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES IS ELIGIBLE UNDER THAT PROGRAM.
AND THEN WE LOOK AT SOME OF THESE OTHER PROGRAMS, LIKE THE
NATIONAL TRADE CORRIDORS. THAT’S A MERIT-BASED, SO WE HAVE
TO APPLY. AND WE’RE COMPETING WITH THE
REST OF CANADA ON THOSE FUNDS. NATIONAL DISASTER MITIGATION
PROGRAM. THAT IS ANOTHER ONE WHERE, YOU
KNOW, WE SEEK FUNDING FOR OUR HIGHWAY PROGRAMS.
SO WE LOOK AND WE TRY TO LEVERAGE WHAT ARE THE POTS OF
MONEY OUT THERE, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO GET FROM AN ALLOCATION,
BUT WHAT ARE SOME OF THESE OTHER MERIT-BASED PROGRAMS THAT WE CAN
APPLY TO. WE’VE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL IN
TRADE CORRIDORS AND NATIONAL DISASTER MITIGATION.
WE GOT ABOUT $230 MILLION EXTRA FOR OUR PROVINCE, AND IT HELPS
TO GO TOWARDS THESE TWINNING PROJECTS.
>>The Chair: GOING TO GO BACK TO MR. MacKAY.
MR. LaFLECHE, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO INCLUDE YOUR ANSWER LATER.
MR. MacKAY?>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
THANK YOU, DEPUTY. CERTAINLY WHAT WE’VE HEARD TODAY
WITH ALL THESE TWINNING PROJECTS AND THE FUNDING, IT’S OBVIOUS
THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT AND
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THESE MASSIVE ROADWAY INFRASTRUCTURE
PROJECTS IN NOVA SCOTIA HAS BEEN EXCELLENT.
I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD SPEAK TOWARDS FUTURE PLANS FOR
THE 104 TO CONTINUE IT FROM THE OR RELATIVELY — JUST EAST OF
ANTIGONISH THROUGH TO THE CAUSEWAY.
>>The Chair: MR. LaFLECHE, YOU HAVE A MINUTE AND A HALF.
>>WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO INVITE US BACK TO TALK ABOUT
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDS GENERALLY, BUT WE’LL LEAVE THAT FOR A
FUTURE DAY. SO THERE IS NO HIGHWAY
ALLOCATION IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE CANADA MONEY GOING FORWARD,
EXCEPT TRADE CORRIDORS, WHICH IS A MUCH SMALLER FUND, AND YOU
HAVE TO HAVE COMPETITIVE. WE, LIKE OTHER PROVINCES, WOULD
LIKE TO SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COME BACK WITH A NEW
NEW NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM THAT CAN DECIDE HOW MANY NEWS
THEY NEED IN FRONT OF IT AND REINTRODUCE HIGHWAY FUNDING.
IN WHICH CASE WE WOULD BE VERY EXCITED TO LOOK AT PROJECTS SUCH
AS THE ONE YOU JUST MENTIONED, AND OTHERS.
SO MAYBE I’LL ASK PETER THEN TO SAY WHERE WE MIGHT BE ON
CORRIDOR RESERVATION OR OTHER DESIGN, PLANNING FOR THE DAY
WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COMES BACK WITH A NEW NEW NEW.
>>The Chair: MR. MacKAY, YOU HAVE 30 SECONDS.
>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I RECENTLY TRAVELLED ALONG THE
104 AND BELIEVE I NOTED SOME WILDLIFE PROTECTION FENCES.
IF I SAW THEM CORRECTLY. ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR FURTHER
USAGE OF THOSE ON THE 104 OR OTHER TWINNED HIGHWAYS?
>>The Chair: MR. HACKETT?>>THERE IS SOME FUTURE FOR
THEM. WE’RE LOOKING AT AREAS ACROSS
THE PROVINCE, MOSTLY FOR DEER AND LOOKING AT CORRELATION
BETWEEN DEER CROSSING AND WHERE THESE FENCES SHOULD GO UP.
BUT WE DON’T HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM HERE IN NOVA SCOTIA AS
THEY DO IN NEW BRUNSWICK, WHERE THEY HAVE MOOSE.
MOOSE ARE MORE — IF HIT A MOOSE IT’S MORE OF A
FATALITY.>>The Chair: THE TIME FOR
QUESTIONING HAS EXPIRED. WE WANT TO THANK THE WITNESSES
FOR APPEARING THIS MORNING AND INVITE YOU TO MAKE ANY CLOSING
REMARKS, IF YOU SO WISH.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR
INVITING US HERE. (NO MIC)
>>The Chair: SORRY, MR. La FLECHE, MIC THERE.
>>OH, I SPEAK TOO QUICKLY. START OVER.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR INVITING US HERE.
WE’RE VERY PROUD OF THE WORK WE’VE DONE ON THE HIGHWAY
SYSTEM, AND IN INFRASTRUCTURE IN GENERAL.
WE WOULD LIKE TO BE INVITED ONE DAY BACK TO TALK ABOUT THE
INFRASTRUCTURE FUND. NOW I’M SEEING THESE GUYS DON’T
WANT IT, BUT THAT’S OKAY. I WANT TO MENTION JUST SOMETHING
ON THE FOIPP OP THING, BECAUSE WE DID NOT MENTION THAT WE KNEW
THAT SOMEONE HAD APPLIED FOR A FOIPP OP.
WE DO NOT KNOW THAT. WE NEVER FIND THAT OUT AND WE’RE
NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT OUTSIDE THIS ROOM.
SO THE FACT THAT SO AND SO APPLIED FOR FOIPP OPS IS A
PRIVACY THING, AND WE’RE NOT AWARE OF THAT.
WE’RE NOT PART OF THAT PROCESS. IT’S DONE AT A DIFFERENT
DEPARTMENT, AND IT’S SHIELDED FROM US.
SO I HOPE THAT WE WERE ABLE TO ANSWER MOST OF THE MEMBERS’
QUESTIONS. I THINK WE WERE.
AND I THINK WE’RE PROBABLY GOING TO HAVE TO ANSWER SOME MORE
QUESTIONS OUTSIDE THIS ROOM. THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR.
>>The Chair: OKAY, THANK YOU AGAIN.
THANK YOU TO THE COMMITTEE FOR BEING HERE, AND I’M SURE THAT
FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD THE INVITATION MIGHT BE EXTENDED,
BUT THAT’S GOING TO BE THE WISH OF THE COMMITTEE AT THAT POINT.
SO AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH. SO COMMITTEE MEMBERS, WE’LL JUST
MOVE ALONG AND FINISH COMMITTEE BUSINESS.
THERE’S A FEW ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE DEALT WITH.
FIRST OF ALL THIS CORRESPONDENCE.
AND EVERYBODY I THINK HAS RECEIVED A COPY OF THE
CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE DEPUTY FOR INFORMATION THAT WAS
REQUESTED FROM THE JULY 10 MEETING.
SO THAT CORRESPONDENCE HAS BEEN
RECEIVED. NO QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ON IT.
OKAY. NEXT IS THE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT,
AND THE SUBCOMMITTEE HAS REVIEWED THE REPORT AND PASSED A
MOTION TO SEND IT TO THE FULL COMMITTEE FOR APPROVAL.
SO THE REPORT HAS BEEN SENT TO ALL MEMBERS, AND IS THERE ANY
CHANGES OR COMMENTS THAT ANYONE WANTS TO PUT FORWARD?
NO? IF THERE ARE NONE, I’LL ASK FOR
A MOTION TO APPROVE THE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC
ACCOUNTS. MS. LOHNES-CROFT?
>>I MOVE THAT WE SEND THE ANNUAL REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE
AT THE END OF NEXT SITTING.>>The Chair: DO WE HAVE A
SECONDER? DON’T NEED SECONDER?
OKAY. THANK YOU.
THE MOTION IS CARRIED. OKAY, NEXT IS ON THE 13TH OF
NOVEMBER THE AUDITOR GENERAL AND DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE WILL BE
APPEARING REGARDING THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE AUDITOR
GENERAL. NOW THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
HAS OFFERED TO PROVIDE A BRIEFING OR A TRAINING SESSION
ON THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS IN ADVANCE OF WHEN THEY APPEAR TO
DISCUSS THE AG’S FINANCIAL REPORT.
AND I THINK THIS WAS SOMETHING SIMILAR THAT WAS DONE IN 2017.
SO IF THE MEMBERS ARE INTERESTED, THERE ARE A COUPLE
OF OPTIONS THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED, AND OF COURSE THAT
WOULD ALL BE SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FINANCE.
THE FIRST WOULD BE THAT OUR OCTOBER MEETING COULD BE
EXTENDED TO HOLD A TRAINING SESSION.
OR WE COULD HAVE A SEPARATE MEETING FOR A TRAINING SESSION.
AND THIRD WE COULD HAVE A TRAINING HELD ON THE DAY THAT
THE AG DOES APPEAR, BUT START EARLY TO HAVE THAT TRAINING
SESSION. SO I GUESS IT’S UP TO THE
COMMITTEE TO DECIDE WHAT THEY WISH.
DO YOU WANT TO EXTEND THE MEETING IN OCTOBER, SEPARATE
MEETING? MS. LEBLANC?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. EVEN THOUGH WE ARE IN SESSION, I
THINK IT WOULD BE THE BEST OPTION SEEMS TO ME TO EXTEND
THAT OCTOBER 9 MEETING BECAUSE WE’LL ALL BE HERE.
IT’S GOING TO BE HARD TO FIND A TIME WHEN WE CAN ALL MEET
OUTSIDE OF THESE REGULAR MEETING DATES, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THAT WE
ARE GOING INTO SESSION SOON. SO I VOTE FOR EXTENDING THE
MEETING ON OCTOBER 9. I’M INTERESTED IN THE TRAINING.
AND MAYBE IT’S ONLY JUST FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO STAY FOR THE
TRAINING.>>The Chair: MR. MacKAY?
>>THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. AND WHILE I APPRECIATE MS.
LEBLANC’S POINTS, I THINK THE FIRST QUESTION WE HAVE TO
DETERMINE IS HOW LONG IS THE TRAINING IN THE SENSE OF IS IT
ONE HOUR OF TRAINING OR IS IT FIVE HOURS OF TRAINING?
BECAUSE THAT WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT WHETHER — IF THE HOUSE
IS SITTING.>>The Chair: I CAN’T ANSWER
THAT. I DON’T KNOW IF WE CAN GET AN
ANSWER.>>I BELIEVE WHEN I DID IT
BEFORE IT WAS TWO HOURS, BUT I THINK THEY CAN ADJUST IT TO WHAT
THE COMMITTEE FEELS WOULD BE APPROPRIATE.
I THINK PREVIOUSLY IT WAS TWO HOURS.
>>The Chair: MR. MacKAY?>>THAT WOULD, THEREFORE, MAKE
IT VERY DIFFICULT TO DO IF IT WAS TO BE TWO HOURS, IF WE
NORMALLY SIT UNTIL 11, MOST OF US HAVE, OF COURSE, BRIEFINGS
BEFORE WE COME INTO THE LEGISLATURE STARTING AT 12:30.
PERHAPS THE TRAINING COULD BE SPLIT INTO TWO ONE-HOUR SECTIONS, BUT — OR IT
COULD BE DONE AT CAUCUS MY COLLEAGUE IS SUGGESTING.
OH, WE HAVE CAUCUS THAT DAY, YES, SORRY.
I WOULD PREFER THAT WE ESTABLISH ANOTHER DATE TO DO THE TRAINING
OUTSIDE OF NORMAL LEGISLATIVE SITTING.
>>The Chair: OKAY, MS. ROBERTS?>>I WOULD AGREE THAT SCHEDULING
A DIFFERENT DATE WHEN WE’RE NOT IN THE LEGISLATURE WOULD BE
IDEAL. I DID FIND THE TRAINING VERY
USEFUL, AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, FOR ANY OF US WHO ARE MORE
COMFORTABLE WITH WORDS THAN WE ARE READING FINANCIAL
STATEMENTS, I THINK THERE’S A LOT TO BE GAINED FROM THE
TRAINING. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE LOOK AT
A WEDNESDAY MORNING MAYBE TWO WEEKS OR ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE OF
THE NOVEMBER MEETING. WE USED TO HAVE THESE MEETINGS
EVERY WEDNESDAY, AND SO I STILL KIND OF HOLD THEM IN MY CALENDAR
IN THE HOPES THAT THEY WILL ONCE AGAIN BY OCCUPIED BY PUBLIC
ACCOUNTS.>>THANK YOU, CHAIR.
I CONCUR WITH MY COLLEAGUE MS. ROBERTS.
I THINK ANOTHER DATE IS THE BEST WAY TO GO.
I THINK CERTAINLY HAVING IT ON OCTOBER 9 HAS ITS MERITS, IT’S
GOING TO PROVE TO BE VERY CHALLENGING, ESPECIALLY WITH THE
HOUSE IN SESSION. SO I CERTAINLY THINK WE SHOULD
LOOK AT ANOTHER DATE TO FACILITATE THAT TRAINING.
>>The Chair: MS. LEBLANC?>>I’M IN AGREEMENT WITH MY
COLLEAGUES. I FORGOT THAT — I WAS THINKING
THAT THE — NEVER MIND. IT DOESN’T MATTER.
I WAS CONFUSED. I AGREE.
>>The Chair: OKAY, MAYBE CAN WE LEAVE IT IT’S GOING TO BE BASED
ON THE AVAILABILITY OF FINANCE, BUT HOW ABOUT IF WE JUST LEAVE
IT AND SEE IF WE CAN FIND A WEDNESDAY FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS
THAT IT IS AVAILABLE AT REGULAR COMMITTEE HOURS, ALTHOUGH THE
COMMITTEE WON’T BE MEETING, BUT WE CAN HAVE IT THEN.
MS. LOHNES-CROFT?>>AND MAY I SUGGEST SINCE WE
DID THIS SINCE 2017 MAYBE THE SHORTER VERSION WOULD BE BETTER,
LIKE IF THEY COULD DO IT TO AN HOUR WOULD BE A BETTER TRAINING?
>>WELL THEN WE DON’T — >>IF IT’S POSSIBLE.
>>The Chair: AGAIN, THAT WOULD BE LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF
FINANCE, BUT IF EVERYBODY AGREES, WE’LL JUST PICK A DATE
THAT’S SUITABLE FOR FINANCE AND CONTACT EVERYBODY AFTER THAT.
OKAY. SO OUR NEXT MEETING IS ON
OCTOBER 9, AND WE HAVE AN 8:30 TO 9:00 IN CAMERA SESSION, AND
THE SESSION WILL BE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, DEPARTMENTS
OF AGRICULTURE, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND JUSTICE CONCERNING
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE FROM THE MAY 2019
REPORT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL, CHAPTER 1.
IS THERE ANY FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE MEETING?
ANY FURTHER BUSINESS? IF NOT, WE STAND ADJOURNED.
THANK YOU. (THE COMMITTEE ADJOURNED.)

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