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A whole new mindset : will a gaming facility, energy plant and additions to reserve lands transform a New Brunswick First Nation ? Phone-in: P3 - What are the pros and cons of public-private partnerships ?

Can a gambling facility be one of the pillars of a stable community ?
That's the hope of Metepenagiag's Chief, Noah Augustine.  
On February 12th, he announced that the First Nation had been the successful bidder for an Atlantic Lottery Corporation licence to establish a Coasters' gaming franchise in Douglastown on the Miramichi. It will feature 25 VLTs, high-stakes bingo, Pro-Line sports betting, video poker, a restaurant and entertainment centre.
Thanks to a revenue-sharing agreement with the province, Metepenagiag will retain 95% of provincial sales tax and 95% of the profits generated by the facility. About two acres of riverfront property will be converted into First Nations land.
But the gaming facility is only one of the pillars of an ambitious plan to make the 600-member community break what the chief calls "a mentality of dependence".
Chief Noah Augustine joined me in the studio for a wide-ranging interview on how he hopes to transform Metepenagiag.

P3 Or Not P3 ? We expect a lot from government : from schools and hospitals to courthouses, roads and bridges. And when it comes to those services and facilities, we want assurances that every penny is used effectively for the public good.
Public-private partnerships - or P3s - have been touted as one way to deliver on these wants  needs. The "private" part of the equation has been promoted as the agent for delivering cheaper, quicker & better results.
But  now that we have some experience of P3 projects in the Maritimes, what do we know about the promise, the reality and the way forward ?
Last weekend, about 40 unionized school employees and their supporters burned fake money outside Moncton North School, one of two P3 schools being built in New Brunswick. The provincial government will pay Brunswick Learning Centres $7 million a year for 30 years to construct, operate & maintain the schools, which will cost a combined $40 million to build.
In January, Nova Scotia's Auditor-General Jacques Lapointe noted what he called some "serious deficiencies" in the management of contracts involving the province, school boards and the developers of P3 schools. His annual report contained several recommendations, and we spoke with Mr Lapointe about them.(To read the A-G's report, click here .)
But there are also examples of P3 projects which have gone well.
Then we were joined by Danny Kavanagh, President of CUPE Nova Scotia. Maritime Noon also contacted the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships which promotes the P3 approach, but they were unable to provide anyone to participate in the phone-in.
Our question : What are the pros & cons of public-private partnerships ?
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