article-aa

François-Philippe Champagne overruled a decision by an independent panel tasked with determining how much Pierre Lavallée should be paid. The effect of the minister’s intervention isn’t known—the government claims it is a cabinet confidence—but Lavallée’s maximum compensation was set at $1.5 million in year one, rising to $2.8 million in year five. The news came a few hours after Conservative leader Andrew Scheer called the bank a “boondoggle in waiting,” as part of a speech about cutting federal spending. (Globe and Mail, CBC)

Purchase a subscription to read the full article.

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The bank was given $35 billion and a mandate to build massive infrastructure projects across Canada, but it’s spent much of the past year talking about executive compensation and approving very few projects. It has so far announced just seven, totalling less than $4 billion in commitments. That falls far short of the initial grand ambitions for the bank. In August 2018, The Logic reported that a high-level government panel planned for it to bring in up to US$2.5 trillion in private-sector investments focused on projects with national scale, like doubling the flow of goods in Western Canada and slashing congestion in Canada’s biggest cities. Meanwhile, its 40 employees have an average annual salary of $392,000; at Investment Ontario, a similar organization at the provincial level, only four employees make more than $300,000 a year.

article-aa

Nicholas Hann joined the Crown corporation in October 2018. The agency was set up in 2017 to spend $35 billion in government funding and attract institutional investors to major projects. The executive reviewed potential projects and recruited staff. Hann did not explain why he was leaving, but said he would be willing to return if unspecified circumstances changed. (Globe and Mail)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: Infrastructure executives reportedly complained to bank officials at an industry conference earlier in July that the agency was too slow to review and approve projects. The bank has announced $3.33 billion in funding so far, including a $1.28-billion loan for an already in-progress electric rail line in Montreal. That’s despite Ottawa prioritizing swift approvals and quick results. In 2017, the government set up an advisory group of civil servants to evaluate potential Infrastructure Bank projects and recommend financing options to the cabinet, before the agency had officially launched or hired a chief executive. In a December 2017 letter, then-infrastructure minister Amarjeet Sohi wrote that he hoped it “can make some early investments to clearly demonstrate the value of its model.” And, as my colleague Zane reported in August 2018, the bank was meant to encourage private-sector investment by de-risking large projects by paying for upfront costs like technical drawings, risk assessments and permits.

article-aa

The Via expansion involves a new rail line that runs through Quebec and Ontario. The Infrastructure Bank’s involvement will be announced Tuesday in Trois-Rivières, Que., and Peterborough, Ont. Via’s original proposal was estimated to cost at least $4 billion, with an extra $2 billion if the trains were to run on electric power. The bank will provide millions of dollars in funding, though the exact amount is not yet known. (Globe and Mail)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: This project—initially proposed to run from Montreal to Toronto through Ottawa and Peterborough—can potentially expand as far east as Quebec City. The plan would bypass smaller cities and towns along Lake Ontario’s north shore; and would also deploy traditional passenger trains, rather than their faster, full high-speed counterparts that are used in Europe and Asia. Though the bank’s involvement doesn’t represent a full go-ahead for Via Rail, it’s a significant milestone. That’s because the bank’s mandate is to fund revenue-generating infrastructure that it deems to serve the public. With a budget of $35 billion, the Infrastructure Bank has only supported two other projects since its creation in 2017: Montreal’s Réseau express métropolitain light rail system, and an expansion of Go Transit in the Greater Toronto Area.

article-aa

The expansion in Contrecoeur, Que. is projected to cost between $750 million and $950 million. Work was originally scheduled to begin in 2021, with the terminal opening in 2023 or 2024. But securing environmental assessments for the site and private funding for the remaining budget could push back the construction timeline. (La Presse, The Canadian Press)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The Montreal Port Authority was previously considering issuing more debt to fund the project. While it still needs to raise more money, the Infrastructure Bank’s cash is meant to help start construction and tide the port over until the new terminal becomes profitable. It’s the arm’s-length agency’s seventh announced project; so far, it’s committed $3.65 billion of its original $35 billion 10-year budget. It’s also the Infrastructure Bank’s second major investment in the Greater Montreal region, following a $1.28-billion loan for an electric rail line, announced in August 2018.