Public-private partnerships (P3s) are once again at the centre of debate between the provincial government and the opposition NDP, this time over 18 elementary schools.
The SaskParty released a value for money report Monday, prepared by a firm called KPMG, whom the province call independent financial experts. The report found building the schools under a P3 financial model would save taxpayers $100 million compared to a traditional, straightforward build.
A total of $635 million is being put into the project for the cost of design, construction, financing, and more than 30 years of maintenance. Using a traditional build, according to KPMG, taxpayers would be left with a bill of $735 million.
The NDP is refuting those numbers. The party said using a traditional approach would actually save $50 million, but the province is tacking on $150 million worth of “risk” to its calculation.
The opposition argued the schools would cost $433 million to build using the straightforward approach, plus maintenance and “risk”. They claim “risk” numbers have been panned by some auditors as unjustified, largely made-up numbers.
The new schools will be built at nine joint-use sites in Regina, Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville. They are scheduled to open in September 2017.