Ottawa hires former CPPIB executive to oversee $35B infrastructure bank
The Trudeau government has tapped a former senior executive of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to lead Ottawa's $35-billion infrastructure bank.
After a long search, Pierre Lavallee has been named president and CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
The bank is a key component of the Liberal government's long-term economic growth strategy.
The financing tool will seek to use public funds as leverage to attract billions more in private investment for major infrastructure projects, which could include bridges, transit systems and possibly commercial projects.
The bank has been criticized by political rivals who argue it will boost corporate profits by forcing Canadians to pay twice for these projects — first through the treasury and then through user fees, such as tolls.
Some opponents have warned the bank will put the priorities of wealthy investors ahead of ordinary Canadians, whom they say will be stuck carrying too much of the risk.
Lavallee most recently served as senior managing director and global head of investment partnerships at the CPPIB, where he led a team that managed about $94 billion in assets.
The government said Lavallee will create the bank's strategy, assemble a team, establish investment policies and lead partnerships with global institutional investors.
"The bank will help attract private sector investment to help public dollars go further and encourage innovation in helping communities advance their infrastructure priorities," Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi said in a statement.