The Campbell administration's efforts to promote public-private partnerships have been a source of controversy here in British Columbia. But for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger it seems those efforts have also been a source of inspiration. Today, the Los Angeles Times's Michael Rothfeld reports Governor Schwarzenegger has "signaled a controversial push to engage private companies in building and management of state and local public works projects." That push follows a visit to just such a project "in Vancouver, Canada, last summer" where the former Hollywood star "touted it as a model for California."
Indeed, in an interview with Public Eye, Parnterships British Columbia communications and government relations director Jennifer Davies confirmed staff have been speaking with officials in the Golden State about such models over the past few months. But she said it's too early to tell whether the provincial government-owned company will actually assist the Schwarzenegger administration in setting up a similar organization to negotiate public-private partnerships in California.
"If the government of California was interested in chatting with us further, we'd absolutely be welcome to that relationship," added Ms. Davies. "We've got memorandum of understanding with a couple other provinces here in Canada where we're involved in information sharing and talking about lessons learned and best practices going forward. I would think some similar model with California might be feasible." But she cautioned Partnerships British Columbia isn't "really trying to sell our business to others."