Documents show school promises may never be fulfilled

Scathing internal report shows government scrambling to find way to build schools

Edmonton – “The Redford Government’s P3 schools experiment has been all but abandoned by the construction industry,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. “The Redford government needs to be honest with Albertans about how and when new schools will be built. Families in new neighborhoods can’t send their children to a school made of government press releases held up by hot air.”

An internal government report shows the government public-private partnership (P3) method for building schools “has been halted” and the government is considering other options.

The document, obtained by the Alberta Federation of Labour through Alberta’s Freedom of Information system, summarizes a debrief session of companies in the business of designing, building, financing and managing P3 facilities, including schools. The government commissioned Deloitte to get feedback from these companies after only one bidder stepped forward for the last round of P3 schools.

According to the document, dated October 21, 2013, the P3 process for new schools has been halted. It continues by saying the government is “now considering a range of different procurement options” for these and other schools.

“Now we know why government announcements heralding new schools have been noticeably absent on the costs, expected completion dates, and method of procurement,” McGowan said. “Redford’s new-schools announcements are a figment of a spin doctor’s imagination. They aren’t a real commitment to building the province.”

“P3s are high-flying ideological experiments, and this document proves they haven’t worked for Albertans. It’s time for Premier Redford to get her feet on the ground and put forward a conventional plan to build new schools,” McGowan said. “I’m calling on the province to publicly do as industry has already done – abandon this failed P3 experiment and get busy with a real plan to build Alberta schools.”

Internal government debrief document on P3 schools



Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.289.6528 (cell)
or via e-mail