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The Brian Mulroney Institute of Government is pleased to announce a new series of Review Essays. The purpose of these essays is to provide a forum for scholars to take stock of the literature on various policy-related issues and to introduce readers to new and innovative approaches to thinking about how these topics relate to broader ideas about the nature of policy-making.


This essay consolidates the public-private (P3) partnership literature to explain the origins, functionality, and scholarly critique of P3 projects. Presenting arguments surrounding P3 value propositions, project completeness, and the actual nature of the relationship between project participants, this essay articulates opportunities for the functional improvement of these project arrangements. These opportunities, which are considered through a real options lens, are anchored in the proactive use of government policy that enables long-term government oversight and partial control over newly procured government infrastructure assets that are operated by a privately held special purpose vehicle. The posited result is to create opportunities for a public sector client to participate in positive risk associated with the operation of P3 projects and to increase trust between project participants (which in turn ought to reduce contract monitoring and compliance costs borne by a public sector client, thereby reducing its cost of project participation).

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Governing At The Speed Of Parliament: Legislative Duration In Recent Parliamentary Sessions

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parliament of Canada adopted legislation at phenomenal speed. Yet, the speed of COVID-related legislation stands in stark contrast to the parliament before the pandemic, in which the average government bill took over 250 calendar days from introduction to royal assent (the longest it has taken in decades). This essay explores recent trends in legislative duration—the amount of time it takes a bill to complete its legislative journey—by examining government bills given royal assent in parliaments between January 1994 and August 2021. It works to establish the case that more study of how Parliament makes its decisions is warranted, particularly in the context of government bills.

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