The 2011 federal budget, introduced yesterday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, provided a significant boost to P3 efforts at the federal level.

In addition to the continuation of federal funding for a number of infrastructure projects and the continuation of the federal P3 Fund, Federal departments will be required to evaluate the potential for using P3 for all large capital projects.

From page 92 of the budget:

"Going forward, federal departments will be required to evaluate the potential for using a P3 for large federal capital projects. All infrastructure projects creating an asset with a lifespan of at least 20 years, and having capital costs of $100 million or more, will be subjected to a P3 screen to determine whether a P3 may be a suitable procurement option. Should the assessment conclude that there is P3 potential, the procuring department will be required to develop a P3 proposal among possible procurement options.

Departments will also be encouraged to explore the potential of P3 approaches for other types of projects and procurements of services. "

Though this budget is unlikely to pass and election call is imminent, this proposal indicates strengthening commitment at the federal level to P3 principles.