Save Bridge Finance Money?

Councilor Ron Cannon says the Municipal Finance Authority told him it would cost $16 million more for a private company to finance the new Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge than if the BC government financed it themselves. The government plans to contract out the building and financing of a new bridge. By having a “private partner” pay the financing, the province avoids having to add $120 million of additional debt on the books.

The City of Kelowna, took a different path with the Capital News Centre. It was built and operated by RG Properties, but the city financed it to save overall project costs.

The B.C. government believes the extra cost is worth the costs in the long term as they assert privately run projects do better at coming in on time and budget. They point to the fast ferries budget ballooning as an example.

Others wonder, as in the case of last year’s Coquihalla privatization controversy, if we are really are better off by having private interests run public amenities and that the cost in the long term is even more.

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