Public-Private Partnership (PPP) sector in Canada

Vancouver Business District

Canada’s steady deal flow, expertise, transparency, and stable economy are among the factors making it an attractive PPP market. Local firms are amenable to partnering with UK players on projects in domestic and third markets.

Market overview


In Canada, there are 198 PPP projects worth CAD$68B in operation, under construction, or in procurement. Use of PPP accounts for 10-15% of infrastructure development (Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships). The province of Saskatchewan, territories Nunavut and the Northwest Territories and more municipalities are increasingly considering use of PPP.


PPP Canada Inc’s P3 Canada Fund aims to invest CAD$1.2B toward encouraging the use of PPP by all levels of government. There are 15 infrastructure categories PPP Canada Inc has identified to focus on and can be viewed here and a project investment map can be viewed here.


The provincial level of government has been leading the momentum in the Canadian PPP market. In particular, the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec have led Canada’s robust PPP project pipeline, primarily within the social and transportation infrastructure sectors, much of which fall to provincial responsibility to deliver these services.

Alberta: Alberta’s long-term 20 year capital plan indicates the use of alternative finance, including PPP, where suitable for ring road segments, schools, hospitals, and water and wastewater projects. To carry this forward, the Province will be investing an average of CAD$5B per year between 2013 and 2016.

British Columbia (BC): The Province’s project pipeline will include projects in healthcare, transportation, education and energy. The Province’s 2012/13-2014/15 transportation and infrastructure service plan outlines the province’s transportation agenda.

Ontario: In June 2011, The Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure released its 10 year infrastructure plan, Building Together. The plan indicates the intension to use AFP in sectors including transportation, post secondary education, tourism, and government services.

Quebec: Among the projects included in Infrastructure Quebec’s Le Plan québécois des infrastructures (PQI) (French only) are transportation, health and social services, education and municipal infrastructure.


To date, smaller scale projects and lack of PPP expertise has limited the participation of municipalities in the PPP market. However, municipalities are increasingly interested in this alternative form of finance as growing populations and aging infrastructure stretch available resources. Some Canadian cities have undertaken PPP projects in transportation, public transit, water and waste water treatment, and civic buildings. Bundling projects (e.g. Vancouver social housing projects) is one route to utilising PPP at the municipal level in this market. Water/wastewater infrastructure is in need of CAD$88B investment (Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships).

Key opportunities

Examples of upcoming projects include:

  • AECL Nuclear Laboratories Restructuring (Multiple provinces)

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (Ontario)

  • Edmonton LRT (Alberta)

  • Biosolids Energy Centre DBFMO (British Columbia)

  • Hotel-Dieu Hospital (Build – Finance) (Quebec)

  • Swift Current Community Facility (Saskatchewan)

Latest export opportunities in the Financial & Professional Services sector

Latest export opportunities in Canada

Getting into the market

UK PPP expertise is well regarded in Canada. There are a variety of routes to market UK companies can explore to gain access, including:

  • Establishing a presence provides local and ready access to the market. Foreign players, including UK companies, have established a presence in Canada to serve the market, including Carillion, Turner & Townsend, Lang O’Rourke, John Laing, Balfour Beatty Capital, Plenary Group, Macquarie.

  • Some restrictions exist to direct market access by foreign firms such as practising law and some public tenders may require local partners. However, factors present in the Canadian market such as a similar legal system to the UK, language, longstanding Canada/UK historical, cultural and business relationships, offer an opportunity for UK firms to serve the market through local strategic relationships.

  • Recognition of Canada’s PPP approach and expertise has gained international interest. Partnerships between Canadian and foreign players, along with Canada’s export driven economy, provides an opportunity for new joint export opportunities in third markets, in particular, markets where Canadian companies have an established footprint, such as the US, Latin America, Africa, and increasingly Asia and the Middle East.

More about doing business in Canada


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Gilda Carbone, Trade Officer ( Financial & Professional Services), British Consulate-General Toronto; Tel: +1 416 593 1290 ext 2224; Email:

  • Dana Dickerson, Trade Associate British Consulate-General Toronto; Tel: +1 416 593 1290; Email:

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in Financial & Professional Services Sector

Major Events

The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) National Conference

7-8 November 2013, Toronto, Ontario

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Business Services, Construction, and Financial & Professional Services
Countries: Canada
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