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With four events in one week, November was an extremely busy time for the for the Commerce Decisions team in Canada. The events comprised the Canadian Public Procurement Forum (CPPC) in Ottawa; 25th Annual CCPPP National Conference in Toronto; the Canadian Urban Transit Authority Forum (CUTA) and the Department of International Trade (DIT) Rail/Infrastructure Mission, both held in Toronto.  The team was all on hand to either exhibit or attend (or both!) What a great week for networking, learning, and sharing our AWARD® experiences in Canada and internationally. 

I’d like to share a summary of the week’s highlights: 

An annual event, the CPPC Forum is targeted at innovators in public procurement.  The program, sessions and exhibits create a classroom-like environment to showcase current challenges faced by the industry, alongside the opportunity to interact and network with like-minded professionals. It was great to see such a high level of interest from the Canadian market in our AWARD®, Real Value for Money (RVfM) and Structured Criteria Development (SCD) solutions.  

The 25th annual CCPPP Forum in Toronto, was a very well attended and popular event for Public Private Partnership (P3) professionals across all sectors. The conference included a wealth of key-note presentations, seminars, break-out sessions, speed-networking meetings and pre-booked, personal, business to business meetings.  Some of our highlights included meetings with various provincial government infrastructure organizations who were very interested in learning more about our engagement with Infrastructure Ontario.

Some of the most impressive sessions (there were many!) included “Bi-national Infrastructure Leaders Forum” featuring the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne and Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma and also the thought-provoking “Urban Infrastructure Super Session”. John Tory, the Mayor of Toronto, spoke about how important infrastructure projects were to him, the people and the city of Toronto. Over 1,000 people attended this Forum and networking opportunities presented themselves from the moment the conference opened to when it officially closed. What a great event!

We were delighted to be part of the invitation-only, Department of International Trade (DIT) Rail/Infrastructure Mission, held in Toronto. 

Commerce Decisions and our highly successful support to transport and infrastructure programs such as Crossrail, Transport for London and HS2 were showcased within the DIT Pavilion at CUTA. Following the official close of the CUTA event, we were invited to an exclusive three-hour round table session with Andy Byford, the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC); Steven Levene, Director of Major Rail Projects, Ministry of Transportation for Ontario and Andrew Percy, MP, British Trade Envoy to Canada. 

To facilitate the discussion amongst this hand-picked audience, Steve Levene delivered an overview of transit agencies and developments in the Canadian rail and transit sector. Andy Byford went on to highlight the type of transportation opportunities in the TTC pipeline, an assessment of the current environment and an understanding the procurement processes and how they needed to go about addressing market challenges.  This highly informative session included an eye to future projects in the transportation industry, specifically in the Province of Ontario.  We were delighted that a video highlighting some the major programs supported by Commerce Decisions was playing in the background throughout the entire session!  

Closing off the week were the official DIT Rail/Infrastructure days, which comprised moderated panels, Q&A sessions as well as numerous opportunities to network with provincial and municipal infrastructure professionals and other industry experts – the event certainly helped to build awareness for Commerce Decisions expertise and our AWARD® solution in the Canadian market.

The first day of this event focused on the provincial/municipal infrastructure professionals including: Partnerships BC, City of Calgary, City of Edmonton, and the City of Toronto.  On the second day of the event we were privileged to hear from an esteemed panel from Crossrail, including Martin Buck, Senior Advisor, Department for Transport, Crossrail International; Ian Lindsay, Land and Property Director, Crossrail Ltd.; Michael Colella, Associate Director, Steer Davies Gleave; Murray Rowden, Director for the Americas, Turner & Townsend; and Julian Ware, Head of Major Project Funding, Corporate Finance, Transport for London. 

A morning session only, but the team delivered a fascinating, multi-faceted overview of their organizations activities and accomplishments, with focus on Crossrail’s new Elizabeth Line for the London Underground.  In fact, the UK’s Crossrail procurement has been so successful that they have created Crossrail International to bid on transportation infrastructure projects worldwide.  When Transport for London states “The UK has a world-class capability in planning and delivering rail projects; our companies have extensive experience of delivering rail infrastructure project on time and to budget” they aren’t kidding - these UK companies are world renowned for this specific expertise. 

Commerce Decisions is proud of the key part we have played in the successful delivery of these programs. Crossrail’s former Procurement Director, Martin Rowark, commented “Your team has been instrumental in the programme success. Evaluation is where the rubber hits the road and they did an incredible job. You have a team to be proud of.  Thanks again for an outstanding job on Crossrail, over CAN$32bn of spend committed without the loss of a single day on the programme critical path - not a bad result all round.”

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