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Keeping Canada’s First P3 Rail Project On Track

The Canada Line is the first – and to date, the only – public-private partnership (P3) rapid transit rail project in Canada. Bull Housser acted as owner’s counsel for the team set up to procure and manage construction of this $2-billion project.

The Canada Line is the first – and to date, the only – public-private partnership (p3) rapid transit rail project in Canada.

"We are very proud of our work on the Canada Line. It was a complex undertaking with numerous stakeholders. The project was completed ahead of schedule, on budget and with no material disputes or claims." 

The Canada Line, part of the Greater Vancouver regional public transit network, consists of 19.2 kilometres connecting Vancouver, Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport. The Bull Housser team helped to keep this ambitious P3 project on track by handling a complex commercial and procurement structure that included financing and commercial arrangements with the federal, provincial and two city governments, regional airport and transit authorities, a group of international banks and the private sector partner.

As owner’s counsel for the Canada Line Project Team, we structured and managed the complex four-stage procurement process, and participated in the evaluation of the proposals. This included drafting and finalizing the long-term Concession Agreement and closing the financial arrangements with the private partner, the federal and provincial governments, Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR) and the regional transit authority (TransLink). We negotiated and settled all key Access Agreements with the Cities of Vancouver and Richmond, as well as YVR, to secure the perpetual real estate rights required to allow the Canada Line to be designed, constructed, operated and maintained. We also acted for the Canada Line Project Team and TransLink to secure several key stations and terminals within Vancouver’s urban core. Throughout the four year construction period, we continued to act as owner's counsel.

Despite its complexity, the Canada Line was completed ahead of schedule, well in advance of the 2010 Olympics, and on budget. Ridership is significantly higher than projected, due in part to the glowing reviews from those who have ridden the system. We continue to act as counsel to TransLink on operation, maintenance and real estate issues.

For more details, contact:

Greg Lewis
Partner, Infrastructure Group