Canada Infrastructure Bank

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Canada Infrastructure Bank
Native name
Banque de l'infrastructure du Canada
TypeCrown corporation
FoundedJune 22, 2017; 4 years ago (2017-06-22)
Key people
Ehren Cory (CEO)
Tamara Vrooman (chairperson)
Dominic Leblanc (minister responsible)
CA$3,316,000 [1]: 7  (September 30, 2019[1]: 7 )
Total assetsCA$796,408,000[1]: 6  (September 30, 2019[1]: 6 )
Total equityCA$796,408,000 (September 30, 2019[1]: 6 )
OwnerGovernment of Canada
Number of employees
46[1]: 6  (November 2019)
Websitecib-bic.ca

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (French: Banque de l'infrastructure du Canada) (CIB) is a federal Crown Corporation of Canada tasked with financially supporting revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are "in the public interest" through public-private partnerships. After four years of operation, no infractructure projects financed through the CIB have yet been completed.

History[edit]

The Canada Infrastructure Bank was announced by the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, during the 2016 fall economic update. This was based on a campaign promise made by the Liberal Party during the 2015 Canadian federal election. It was officially established in June 2017 when the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act received royal assent. The bank's website used to state that it "was established in response to a market gap between government-funded and privately funded infrastructure projects".[2][3] Some speculated that the bank's creation was a way for the government to sidestep the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform's lawsuit.[4]

A Canadian investment banker working for Bank of America Merrill Lynch helped design and set up the Canada Infrastructure Bank.[5] In November 2016, the government held high-level meetings behind closed doors with equity investors such as BlackRock and Canada's largest pension funds concerning the bank's structure.[6]

First logo of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, used from July 2017 to January 2021

The creation of the Canada Infrastructure Bank coincides with the dissolution of PPP Canada and the PPP Canada fund, which were created under Prime Minister Stephen Harper to fund infrastructure projects with public-private partnerships.

Janice Fukakusa was appointed as the CIB's inaugural chairperson of the board of directors in July 2017. She was joined in May 2018 by Pierre Lavallée, the CIB's first President, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and chief executive officer (CEO). Amid widespread criticism of the bank's operations, they both resigned from their position in April 2020. Upon his resignation, Lavallée was awarded a bonus worth $720,000, or 120% of his annual salary.[7] In October 2020, he was replaced by former McKinsey & Company partner Ehren Cory.[8]

In January 2021, Tamara Vrooman was selected as the new chair of the bank. In July, Vrooman reported that the CIB "has funded and financed about $13.9 billion in projects, over 70 per cent of those in the last six months alone, with almost 70 per cent of that financing coming from the private sector."[9]

Mandate[edit]

The 2017 Canada Infrastructure Bank Act sets out the corporation's mandate to invest, and seek to attract investment from private-sector investors and institutional investors, in revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are "in the public interest".

The CIB uses financial instruments including loans, equity, and, where appropriate, loan guarantees to deliver federal support to projects to make them commercially viable. The CIB provides financing and investment using a combination of these instruments depending on a project's unique characteristics.[10] The model is to use private and institutional capital to finance projects up front, while the public sector and users fund the private return on investment over time.[6]

The Government of Canada sets the high-level policy priorities for the CIB, including projects that:

Consideration is given to potential projects appropriate for the new partnership- and revenue-based funding model.

The CIB reports to Parliament through the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.[10]

Funding[edit]

The Canadian Parliament has authorized appropriations of $CDN35 billion covering the eleven-year period that ends in FY 2027–2028. This includes $CDN15 billion for the fiscal framework. This financial support is to fulfill a need to "mobilize private investment" for projects that would otherwise have no private investment. This may be in the form of "financial instruments" or "loans, equity investments, and loan guarantees."[1]: 11 

In a September 2017 keynote address to the Canadian council for public-private partnerships, CIV chair Janice Fukakusa affirmed that infrastructure projects financed through the CIB would be outside the public balance sheet. She then stated that projects could generate revenues "in many different forms, including fees, tolls, fares, tariffs, and mechanism based on appreciating land value".[11]

Public-private partnerships are generally more expensive than publicly-financed projects. This is in part due to the use of private sector financing, which comes at a higher interest rate than public financing.[6] The CIB subsidizes this higher borrowing cost, making CIB projects more profitable for the private partners, but more expensive for taxpayers and/or users. The Bank also charges local governments for their services.[12][13]

Governance[edit]

Tamara Vrooman, Chairperson of the Canada Infrastructure Bank since January 2021

The bank's chair is a Governor in Council appointment made of the advice of the minister of infrastructure and communities. Tamara Vrooman was appointed chair on January 27, 2021.[14] Ehren Cory is the bank's Chief Executive Officer and President,[8] and Annie Ropar is the CIB's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).[15]

Most of the board members are investors who had their career in major banks or pension funds. More than half of members have ties to the Liberal Party, including former Calgary mayor and past Liberal donor Dave Bronconnier.[16] Some people argue that the board of director's private sector majority will mostly be concerned about projects' profitability, and will disregard the government's other infrastructure priorities.[6]

Oversight[edit]

The Bank is not subject to the government of Canada's strong accountability and transparency rules, and the Auditor General of Canada has limited oversight on the bank and its projects.[17] Under Ehren Cory, the bank streamlined its approval process. From 2021 onwards, the federal government stopped reviewing each individual projects and began approving CIB investments by sector.[18]

In January 2020, following numerous criticism of the Banks' operations, the House of Commons commissioned an audit of federal infrastructure projects (worth over $186.7 billion), and a complete review of Bank.[7]

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) reviewed the CIB's announcements as of April 2021, and compared them with the track record of similar institutions. It concluded that the CIB is likely to spend only $16-billions of its $35-billion total budget over the course of its 11-year mandate.[19]

In March 2021, the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities unanimously requested that the CIB provide the committee with "all documents detailing the bonus policies and payment of bonuses to executives and the board of directors since the bank's inception". The bank's 157-page response to this request did not include the details of its executive bonuses, citing "competitive and privacy considerations". Opposition members of the committee strongly criticized the bank for this omission.[20]

Leadership history[edit]

Chairperson
  1. Janice Fukakusa (July 2017–April 2020)[21]
  2. Michael Sabia (April 2020–January 2021)[22]
  3. Tamara Vrooman (January 2021 – present)[14]
CEO
  1. Pierre Lavallée (May 2018–April 2020)[7]
  2. Annie Ropar (Interim) (April 2020–October 2020)[15]
  3. Ehren Cory (October 2020 – present)[8]

Reception[edit]

Since its inception, the Bank received sharp criticism from public-sector unions such as the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which characterized the CIB as a "Bank of privatization" and a "Jackpot for corporations".[17]

According to CUPE, the CIB's structure represents a betrayal of Trudeau's campaign promises concerning infrastructure. On the campaign trail, Trudeau argued that the government could fund infrastructure projects leveraging the public sector's low interest rates. Combined with his promise to run modest deficits, his rhetoric was distinctively anti-austerity. Some argue this was a bait-and-switch because the CIB is designed to promote public-private partnerships and asset recycling (the selling of existing public infrastructure to fund new projects). As such, Trudeau's "efforts to transfer public assets to private actors display a degree of finesse and deception far beyond the Conservative approach to infrastructure privatization."[6]

After two years of operation, the private sector was displeased by the Bank's slow pace of project approval. According to Conservative infrastructure critic Matt Jeneroux, the CIB "was supposed to be a new way to build infrastructure, but we're still faced with the same delays, and the issues of actually building infrastructure have gotten worse when we're tying up this much money in the bank."[23]

Both the Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP) promised to wind down the CIB if they were elected in the 2019 Canadian federal election.[23]

The opposition's displeasure with the bank continued through 2021. Conservative infrastructure critic Andrew Sheer said that the CIB is "a lemon of an institution" due to its failure to complete projets, while NDP infrastructure critic Taylor Bachrach criticized the bank's focus on attracting private institutional investments, and argued for a return to the traditional public infrastructure funding model.[19]

Projects[edit]

Name Partner Location Sector Investment Status
Réseau express métropolitain (REM)[24] CDPQ Infra Montreal, Quebec Public Transit $1.28 billion (15-year senior secured loan) Under construction[25][26]
GO Expansion - On Corridor[24] Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Ontario Public Transit Up to $2 billion Ongoing
Via Rail High Frequency Rail Project[24] Via Rail and Transport Canada Ontario and Quebec Public Transit $55 million Ongoing
Mapleton Water and Wastewater[27][1][24] Township of Mapleton Mapleton, Ontario Green Infrastructure Up to $20 million Cancelled[28]
Lulu Island District Energy[24] City of Richmond, Lulu Island Energy Company Richmond, British Columbia Green Infrastructure Memorandum of Understanding
Contrecoeur Port Terminal[24] Montreal Port Authority Montreal, Quebec Trade and Transportation Up to $300 million Ongoing
Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion[24] Government of Northwest Territories Northwest Territories Green Infrastructure Advisory Services Ongoing
Pirate Harbour Wind Farm[24] Port Hawkesbury Paper Point Tupper, Nova Scotia Green Infrastructure Memorandum of Understanding
Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link[24] Kivalliq Inuit Association, Sakku Investment Corporation, Anbaric Development Partners and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Nunavut and Manitoba Broadband Infrastructure Memorandum of Understanding
Calgary-Banff Rail[24] Government of Alberta Calgary International Airport to the Town of Banff, Alberta Public Transit Memorandum of Understanding
Alberta Irrigation[24] Government of Alberta Southern Alberta Trade and Transportation $407.5 million Ongoing
Oneida Energy Storage[29] Oneida Energy Storage LP Southwestern Ontario Clean power Memorandum of Understanding
New Westminster Rail Bridge[30] Public Services and Procurement Canada, Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada New Westminster, British Columbia Trade and Transportation Project Acceleration
Highway 697 Toll Bridge[31] Government of Alberta Mackenzie County, Alberta Trade and Transportation Project Acceleration
Southern Manitoba Fibre[32] Valley Fiber Limited, DIF Capital Partners Southern Manitoba Broadband Infrastructure $130 million Ongoing
Lake Erie Connector[33] ITC Investment Holdings Nanticoke, Ontario and Erie, Pennsylvania Clean Power $655 million Ongoing
Montréal-Trudeau International Airport REM Station[34] Government of Canada, Government of Québec, Aéroports de Montréal Greater Montreal Area, Québec Public Transit Up to $300 million Ongoing
MD of Acadia and Special Areas Irrigation[35] Government of Alberta, Municipal District of Acadia No. 34, Special Areas Board Southern Alberta Trade and Transportation Project Acceleration

Cancelled waste and wastewater infrastructure project in Mapleton, Ontario[edit]

On July 15, 2019, the CIB made a $CDN 20 million investment commitment township of Mapleton, Ontario's water and wastewater project.[1]: 5  The financing comes in the form of a "standardized debt financing package" to "attract private capital expertise".[36] The Township of Mapleton, with a rural population of 11,000, has been seeking a consortium public-partnership to "design, build, finance, operate and maintain" a proposed 20-year project to improve and expand" the township's publicly owned water and wastewater infrastructure".[37]

The CIB said that this project is a potential pilot and model which could demonstrate to Canadian municipalities—including smaller communities—with water and wastewater challenges, how CIB can assist them in attracting private sector capital" for financing to improve publicly owned water and wastewater systems.[36][1]: 5  While the water and waste-water systems will continue to be publicly owned, concerns have been raised by organizations, such as the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), that there is a risk that smaller communities may become locked into lengthy agreements with private financiers that result in higher user fees for water and wastewater services.[27]

The proposal attracted international attention due to the project financing's uniqueness. However, in August 2020, after reviewing financial analyses of the main proposals, the township opted to cancel the project instead. A report showed that self-financing the project would be more advantageous for Mapleton than using the CIB's model.[28]

Acts[edit]

The CIB was established by the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act (CIB Act), an Act of Parliament on June 22, 2017.[38][1]: 11 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Second Quarter (Q2) Fiscal Year 2019-20 Financial Report (PDF). Canada Infrastructure Bank (Report). Toronto. November 19, 2019. p. 22. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  2. ^ "About Us". Canada Infrastructure Bank. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  3. ^ "Canada Infrastructure Bank". Liberal Party of Canada. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  4. ^ MacRae, Gavin. "Whose Canada Infrastructure Bank?". Watershed Sentinel. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Fekete, Jason (March 18, 2016). "Stakes are huge as Liberal government moves forward on Canada Infrastructure Bank". National Post. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e Whiteside, Heather (May 4, 2017). "The Canada Infrastructure Bank: private finance as poor alternative". Studies in Political Economy. 98 (2): 223–237. doi:10.1080/07078552.2017.1343008. ISSN 0707-8552. S2CID 157167598.
  7. ^ a b c "Canada Infrastructure Bank approved bonuses to CEO who resigned". Toronto Sun. May 27, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Deschamps, Tara (October 29, 2020). "Ehren Cory appointed as new Canada Infrastructure Bank CEO". National Post. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  9. ^ Woodside, John (July 30, 2021). "How should Canada finance infrastructure in an era of climate breakdown?". ca.news.yahoo.com. National Observer. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Mission and Mandate". Canada Infrastructure Bank. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  11. ^ P3 2017: Keynote Speech: Janice Fukakusa of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, retrieved July 19, 2021
  12. ^ "Infrastructure bank targets local water systems". Canadian Union of Public Employees. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Whiteside, Heather (2016). Public-private partnerships in Canada. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55266-896-2. OCLC 952801311.
  14. ^ a b Canada, Government of. "Orders In Council - Search". orders-in-council.canada.ca. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Canada Infrastructure Bank CEO and chair step down - Link2Build". www.link2build.ca. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  16. ^ Pressprogress. "Why The Liberal Government's Infrastructure Bank is Helping Big Banks and Dumping User Fees on Citizens". PressProgress. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Infrastructure bank a jackpot for corporations". Canadian Union of Public Employees. June 21, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  18. ^ Snyder, Jesse (January 13, 2020). "New head of Canada Infrastructure Bank promises more investments after Ottawa loosens reins". National Post. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Curry, Bill (April 28, 2021). "Infrastructure Bank unlikely to spend even half of its $35-billion budget over 11-year mandate: PBO". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Curry, Bill (July 7, 2021). "Infrastructure Bank refuses MPs' request to detail executive bonuses". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  21. ^ Martha, Porado (September 13, 2019). "A profile of Janice Fukakusa, chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank". Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  22. ^ "Michael Sabia – Canada Infrastructure Bank – Banque de l'infrastructure du Canada". cib-bic.ca. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Curry, Bill (July 30, 2019). "Canada Infrastructure Bank executive Nicholas Hann resigns amid growing industry frustration with pace of project approvals". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Projects". Canada Infrastructure Bank. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "Construction of the Réseau express métropolitain has officially started" (Press release). Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. April 12, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  26. ^ "High Frequency Rail: AECOM and Arup consortium selected as Owner's Engineers" (Press release). Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Via Rail Canada, Inc. January 28, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Federal Infrastructure Bank Says It Sees 'Potential' to Privatize Local Water Systems Across Canada". PressProgress. January 14, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  28. ^ a b Raftis, Patrick (August 5, 2020). "Mapleton drops plan to outsource water, wastewater infrastructure". Wellington Advertiser. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  29. ^ "Canada Infrastructure Bank signs Memorandum Of understanding for Oneida Energy Storage". www.newswire.ca. Canada Infrastructure Bank. January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  30. ^ "Study: New Westminster Rail Bridge". cib-bic.ca/en/. Canada Infrastructure Bank. February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  31. ^ "Highway 697 Toll Bridge". Canada Infrastructure Bank Projects. Canada Infrastructure Bank. February 16, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  32. ^ "Southern Manitoba Fibre". Canada Infrastructure Bank Projects. Canada Infrastructure Bank. March 31, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  33. ^ "Lake Erie Connector". Canada Infrastructure Bank Projects. Canada Infrastructure Bank. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  34. ^ "Montréal-Trudeau International Airport REM Station". Canada Infrastructure Bank Projects. Canada Infrastructure Bank. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  35. ^ "MD of Acadia and Special Areas Irrigation". Canada Infrastructure Bank Projects. Canada Infrastructure Bank. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  36. ^ a b "Township of Mapleton receives $20 Million Investment". Township of Mapleton. July 15, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  37. ^ "Mapleton Water and Wastewater". Canada Infrastructure Bank. 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  38. ^ "Canada Infrastructure Bank Act". Government of Canada - Justice Laws. June 22, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2018.