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Great Lakes Planning Group to Study How P3s Can Revitalize Regional Infrastructure

In an effort to eliminate infrastructure deficits in the Great Lakes region, a new regional planning group will lead an effort to modernize infrastructure and enable public-private partnerships as part of a “Commitment to Action” by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) was launched in 2011 following a summit of business, labor, non-profit and academic leaders from across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region, to deepen cross border and cross-sector collaboration.

“Failure to make the required investments in the region’s infrastructure, from our roads, schools and hospitals to our waterways and water and wastewater treatment plants will not only drag down economic growth in the U.S. and Canada in the years to come, it will put us further behind major competitors in the global economy,” Mark Fisher, CEO of CGLR said in a release.

The Council arose out of a need to spur greater integration among industry, government, the private sector and academia, especially on infrastructure issues, said Fisher in an interview with P3 Digest. “By taking a regional and bi-national approach to addressing the deteriorating infrastructure in the region, we hope that policy makers and the private sector will begin to see the importance of fixing these issues together,” he said.

As part of the CGI Commitment to Action, CGLR will perform an in-depth study of the policies and laws governing P3s in other regions of the United States and Canada to identify best practices for the private sector to design, build, finance, operate and maintain public infrastructure.

“By looking at states and provinces that have successfully deployed P3 legislation and policy, we hope to create a blueprint for the region that will allow governments and the private sector to modernize and replace roads, bridges, waterways, and drinking water and wastewater treatment systems,” Fisher said.

The commitment to action also will study new solutions for capturing and leveraging private equity through the creation of regional infrastructure exchanges including those between groups on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border.

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is looking for partners to help fund and participate in the study. Those interested should contact Mark Fisher, at 613-668-2044 or mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org  for details about supporting the project.

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