Taxpayers should be wary of Iqaluit airport deal, says expert
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says public-private infrastructure projects usually have high costs
Nunavummiut should keep a close eye on the agreement for the new Iqaluit airport, according to an expert on public-private partnerships.
Earlier this week, the Nunavut government announced that Arctic Infrastructure Partners will design, build and operate the new $300 million facility. The consortium consists of four companies from outside the territory.
Keith Reynolds, with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said typically in these types of projects, taxpayers are left in the dark.
"The problem that you're going to have is that almost invariably the most important information about this project is not released," Reynolds said. "It's a secret. But if I was a taxpayer in Nunavut, I would be saying, ‘I want to know on a year-to-year basis what is the dollar cost that we are going to be putting into this project.'"
Reynolds said these large infrastructure projects usually provide high profits for the companies, and high costs for taxpayers.
He cautions that needs could change drastically over the 30-year lease agreement in place for the airport.