Building infrastructure: The legal framework for Canada’s push – Lexpert Magazine

Tobor Emakpor

Jul 13, 2016

The Trudeau government’s announcement of significant investment in infrastructure will certainly result in increased opportunities for infrastructure specialists, including engineers, construction companies and private investors. As Sheldon Gordon sets out in a lengthy article in Lexpert Magazine, infrastructure lawyers will also benefit from the stimulus spending, but should be aware of other infrastructure industry developments such as the broadening of the public-private partnership (P3) model, new trade agreements, recent court rulings and an increased emphasis on ethical bidding practices. Gordon’s article offers a detailed look at these areas and includes expert commentary from lawyers across Canada. In the section devoted to the expansion of P3 infrastructure, Tobor Emakpor, a partner in Osler’s Construction and Infrastructure Practice Groups, comments on how the new reality has required infrastructure lawyers to bring in sector-specific expertise.

“On an LRT project, you want to bring in your rail specialists and on a power procurement, your power specialists,” Tobor says. “But the basic contractual documentation typically follows the P3 template. Although the language may be different, the general principles are the same.”

The balance of the article discusses the impact of trade treaties like the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the Canadian infrastructure procurement landscape, as well as the implications of court decisions such as Bhasin v. Hrynew and Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structural Heavy Steel. Gordon also explores ethical bidding practices and how they’re affecting the public procurement process.

Read Sheldon Gordon’s full article, “Building infrastructure: The legal framework for Canada’s push” in the April 2016 issue of Lexpert Magazine.