22/09/2010

What About Private Citizens P-3's

Well the concept of a new stadium for Regina is in the news again today.

The new catch phrase for Ken Cheveldayoff, the Minister responsible for trying to get this project off the ground is P-3. Nothing new about P-3's, right wing governments love them. Public-Private-Partnership, it has a kind of ring to it doesn't it.

The way it goes with this Regina Stadium project is that there are supposedly five partners working together trying to get things off the ground.
  • The City of Regina, 
  • The Provincial Government, 
  • The Federal Government, 
  • The football team and 
  • The private sector. 
With the inevitable cost overruns this stadium will cost at least $500,000,000. Since the football team  doesn't have an extra $100,000,000 we just have to assume their contribution will be smaller so each of the other partners will have to come up with over $100,000,000.  

So despite the unlikely odds,  lets just pretend that happens. Then the question is who will own the place when we are all done? Well, the private sector of course. The minister as much as admitted it yesterday saying "If somebody came in and said they wanted to own it and operate it, that's something we would look at very favourably..."

For the private sector's perspective there is real beauty in the P-3.  They put up a fraction of the costs, they agree to run the place and are generally given guaranteed profits, they assume ownership and if they screw it up the public are their to bail them out. A hell of a deal. This is the new Saskatchewan entrepreneurial spirit. It is the kind of thing that makes Enterprise Saskatchewan wet their pants.

I'm not so sure. I am holding out for private citizen P-3s. Just imagine. I always wanted a Beamer. So if I put down $20,000 using P-3 logic the other partners could put up the rest of the $100,000 cost for a Series 6 BMW. The provincial and civic governments would waive the licencing fees and give me tax credits because of my strong contribution to the local economy. 

The more I think about it, the more this free enterprise model grows on me. Bring it on.

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