Rob MacPherson. P3 Consultant.
Rob MacPherson at Scotian Materials told radio host Rick Howe that he wouldn’t know what goes on at the Premier’s office. We doubt that very much. We found a picture of Rob MacPherson with the New Brunswick Premier-at-the-time Shawn Graham. Why are they together? Oh, they worked on a little project together… Rob MacPherson has experience in P3 schools and this is a school in Shawn Graham’s hometown, at a P3 school named after Shawn Graham’s grandmother. Robert MacPherson was president of Scotia Learning Centres, and they were “the preferred proponent for the construction of these important new facilities in Moncton and Rexton,” according to the NB Minister of Supply and Services.
Interestingly enough, the NB auditor general blasted the project that saw this school and another one built using the P3 model, saying not only did the government say they saved money when that was untrue, but that the government spent $1.7 million more than it would have using the traditional model of payment.
According to the Scotia Learning Centres website, they “own and operate 13 Learning Centres which were designed, and built through the “Public-Private Partnership” process… Scotia Learning Centres worked hard to prove the concept of “Public-Private Partnership” as an effective method to provide positive, creative and exciting solutions to issues facing our Province, our school boards and our communities.”
Contrast that with Tim Bousquet’s quote, “Even more worrying is that the contracts are so mismanaged that children are at risk… P3 school employees were hired without child abuse or criminal registry checks, and did not have required CPR and first aid certification.”
In a Coast article Tim Bousquet wrote in 2010 that discussed auditor Jacques Lapointe’s report, Bousquet stated that in “his audit of $830 million in public-private partnership school arrangements entered into in 1998 and 1999… Lapointe suggests that taxpayers are losing as much as $52 million in value through the contracts, which went to three companies owned by a collection of politically connected developers: Ashford Investments, Nova Learning and Scotia Learning. That’s 723 times as much as was misspent by MLAs.”
“As for the media, they should now put 723 times the time and resources they’ve put into the MLA expense story into investigating the P3 story.”
Six years after this article by Tim Bousquet, we couldn’t agree more that these P3 developers need to be investigated. And that includes Scotian Materials, who by Rob MacPherson’s own admission, is interested in P3 highway contracts. The bigger problem with P3 is that it invites corruption. The largest P3 infrastructure corruption and money laundering case in the world was investigated by the Charbonneau Commission. The study revealed $100,000 fundraising goals for Liberal ministers, often demanded from the construction industry, according to the media. It appears that 43 charges have been laid against 7 people so far. According to the Montreal Gazette, one way election contributions were made from companies was under the guise of being from individuals. “Employees of private companies (and their family members) handed over personal cheques to political parties at the municipal and provincial level, and were then reimbursed by their employers through the payoll, cash or bonuses.”
Hmmmm. Makes you wonder about the case we discussed above, with Northern Construction and payroll tax fraud…
Check out Rob MacPherson’s other website, where he fully admits “acting as the liaison with senior Government officials on P3 projects.”