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2022 P3 Conference celebrates past while looking to the future

Angela Gismondi
2022 P3 Conference celebrates past while looking to the future

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) conference and although there is a lot to celebrate, including being back in person, it will also be a time to have discussions on what the next wave of P3s will look like.

“It’s definitely going to be celebratory and reflective on everything that we’ve done, but I also think in keeping with the times and the evolution in the market…it’s also going to be one of meaningful discussion and exploration,” said the council’s president and CEO Lisa Mitchell.

“It’s great that we can look back and capitalize on the experiences that we’ve had and how we’ve evolved as an industry and adapted.

“But I think at this point in time, with the market the way it is, how it’s evolving, we’re dealing with unprecedented pressures in terms of inflation, supply chain and labour shortages. We’ve had some successes and some challenges…so I think it’s really an opportunity for us to sort of explore new ways of doing things, new asset classes and really kind of help formulate that path forward.”

The conference will take place Nov. 21 and 22 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

“The feedback we’re getting is excitement for a lot of folks to get back in person,” said Mitchell. “I really want people coming out of the two days feeling reinvigorated, keen, ready to roll up their sleeves and to work together. I think the program is really starting to reflect that.”

Most of the program is set and has been rolled out, Mitchell said. There were will more than 90 speakers from all over the P3 space and 16 panel discussions.

“We’ve really taken an approach with the program…that it’s been two-and-a-half years, there are some discussions that we just haven’t had because we haven’t been together,” Mitchell explained. “It’s great to get in a room and say how great things are going and take that 50,000-foot view, but I think that there are also some real discussions that need to be had.

“I think we need to be open and honest and find solutions and be innovative in our thinking”

Some of the keynote and general sessions include How the Canadian P3 Sector Can Triumph in a Time of Upheaval; The Search for Canada’s Nation Building Mojo: Can We Still Build Big?; Start Me Up: Canada’s Energy Renaissance; The Big Squeeze: Canada’s Infrastructure Ministers on the Challenges of the Post-Pandemic Infrastructure Boom; Green Innovation: How the Private Sector is Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation and Executing Better Projects; and Too Much Choice? Canada’s Agency Heads on Navigating the New Models.

Mitchell has been a delegate for the past 10 years but she is looking forward to being on the other side.

“It’s always felt like it’s the place to be for the infrastructure space in Canada,” she said. “There aren’t any other events where you have access to as many people in the space as you do at one time. I think part of that as well too is reflected in our international program. We’ve got about a dozen or so international delegations. We’ll have our International Café as we have in previous years.”

New to the conference this year is the Innovations Marketplace.

“While we are a P3 industry and a P3 conference, we are part of a bigger ecosystem and when you talk about hitting net-zero or innovation or technology, all of those pieces are part of it as well,” said Mitchell. “We wanted an opportunity to bring in some of the other players in the infrastructure industry that may be part of the equation, P3 or not, so that’s going to be a bit of a new angle for us too. There will be great booths from technology and innovation to labour and training, so it’s really going to broaden that ecosystem.”

For more information visit P3-2022.ca

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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