If you go  through the Massey Tunnel, you’ve seen an increase in machinery and people wearing hard hats at that location. Students at Kwantlen Polytechnic have been following the progress, writing in  The Runner Mag. Braden Klassen notes that the bridge planned by the Province with no consultation “will be funded partially by user tolls and partnerships which have not yet been announced.”
As one of the B.C. Liberals’  chosen public-private partnerships, this new bridge will be operated similarly to Port Mann.  There the Transportation Investment Corporation (you know it as TReO, the group you pay tolls to on the Port Mann bridge) “operates and maintains the Port Mann, but the actual company responsible for tolling the bridge is called Trans Canada Flow. TC Flow is basically a small twig on the branch of a convoluted tree of French (France)  subsidiaries, the list of which reads like a genealogy account from the book of Genesis.”
Braden Klassen examines these companies in France invested in Metro Vancouver.  “TI Corp affiliate TC Flow was begat by partner groups Sanef Tolling and Egis Group, Egis Group was begat by investment groups Caisse des Dépôts and Iosis Partners, who also consist of their many affiliates and shareholders etc.”  Caisse des depots is a French public sector financial institution that promotes “long-term investment…in France and abroad, particularly in projects related to energy transition.”
Klassen states that the “provincial government prioritizes consulting with corporate interests rather than the actual communities affected by these gigantic and costly initiatives…A $3.5 billion dollar investment could have paid for the Evergreen SkyTrain extension twice, with about $700 million left for TransLink..Instead of seizing this opportunity to join the clean energy movement and invest in a greener, more efficient transit-oriented solution, we’re going to build another bridge that will accommodate fossil-fuel driven transportation.”
Similar to the  Site C Dam project, and Pacific NorthWest LNG, a chosen public-private partnerships will “design, build, partially finance, operate, maintain and rehabilitate the asset for a term of 30 years.” According to the government, “This procurement approach best provides value to taxpayers.” 
There you have it. The Province is being fiscally responsible in building the Massey Bridge with its unannounced international corporate partners. No need for consultation if it’s the right thing, or at the right place for the Metro Vancouver Mayor’s Council or for regional growth.  The Province  knows what is best value-we’ve been told.


  1. P3s are most definitely not the best value for money for taxpayers. They are a way to spread the cost and risk of building public assets to the private sector — at a larger cost to cover profits but often done with cheaper methods and materials. They are also a way to reward political donors.
    Anyone familiar with the design-build process will know that the private interests (contractors, financiers, architects, engineers, etc.) will usually slant the work in their own favour first and foremost, and not necessarily in the client’s. This is how we ended up with the shortcomings of the Canada Line, including a 30+ year operating contract where TransLink (that is, the taxpayer) is penalized with additional fees to put more trains on at rush hour.
    I know of a public school project in the Metro that used the design-build process imposed by the provincial government funders and the gym building ended up 5 m too short, which negated many indoor sports functions. This does also bring into question the quality of oversight by the client school board. There is more room for friction and territorial competition between the private consortium and the public owner, which is often remembered by public sector project managers when evaluating proposals and bids in future projects.
    The most straight forward way to build public amenities is for the public agency to hire its own private design consultants who will thus work exclusively for their public client. That way the client has full control over the design and there will be fewer loose ends that will end up as expensive change orders during construction. The consultant will also manage the construction process from the perspective of the client / owner, not the contractor’s.
    The main difference between design-build and P3s is that the private sector owns a part of or manages the public asset after construction with P3s at an additional cost to the public.

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