Public procurement in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has one of the preeminent public procurement practices in Canada and is regularly retained by both public and private sector clients operating in a range of industries, including infrastructure, energy, healthcare and education. With experience in procurement projects at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, the department not only assists bidders, but is also skilled at  advising on development of the procurement processes, contentious and compliance matters. Leading the practice is Judy Wilson, who is highly regarded for her experience in owner-side infrastructure matters and PPP procurements. She is based in the Toronto office, where Marianne Smith is also sought after for her expertise in PPP law, procurement and complex projects. Clémentine Sallée is a contact in Montreal for project structuring and compliance issues, while Toronto-based  Alyssa Shivji, who was recently promoted to partner, and Theresa Chan play a key role in high-profile procurement projects across Canada.

Practice head(s):

Judy Wilson

Cassidy Levy Kent LLP

Government agencies and private corporations routinely turn to Cassidy Levy Kent LLP's public procurement team for representation in federal procurement challenges and complex litigation. The Ottawa-based practice is led by renowned Gerry Stobo, who possesses a stellar reputation among the procurement bar. The department leader has acted in challenges to the highest-value procurements undertaken by the Government of Canada, and is experienced at handling cases before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) and the Federal Court of Appeal. Marc McLaren-Caux is also noteworthy for his track record in high-value procurement litigation.

Practice head(s):

Gerry Stobo

Other key lawyers:

Marc McLaren-Caux

Key clients

Camcode Canada ULC

Falcon Environmental Inc.

Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Service Ltd.

P1 Consulting Inc.

Black & McDonald

Alion Science and Technology Corporation, and Alion Science and Technology Canada Corporation

Oshkosh Defense Canada, Inc.

General Dynamics Mission System – Canada

Work highlights

  • Acting for Falcon Environmental in the challenging of a bid on a service contract to provide wildlife control services at two Air Force bases in Ontario.
  • Representing Camcode Canada in the filing of a bid challenge at the  Canadian International Trade Tribunal.
  • Acting for Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services in the filing of five challenges at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) regarding a contract award for emergency towing vessels.

Fasken

Bringing together procurement experts and litigators, Fasken is not only adept at assisting clients with high-profile procurement transactions and projects at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, but is also proficient in litigation, trade issues and government relations matters. National security mandates, including procurements involving controlled goods and contract security, are a strong point for the team, that has been recently called upon by clients to provide innovative solutions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Based between Ottawa and Toronto, Peter Mantas, who regularly acts as lead litigation procurement counsel in prominent Canadian cases, oversees the nationwide department. Marcia Mills, who also splits her time between Ottawa and Toronto, has a wealth of experience advising government entities and private companies throughout the procurement cycle and on trade agreement compliance and disputes.

Practice head(s):

Peter Mantas

Other key lawyers:

Marcia Mills; Tom Barlow; Gabrielle Cyr

Key clients

Infrastructure Ontario/ Metrolinx

Government of Canada and Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Bronson Consulting Group

Assembly of First Nations

United Kingdom, Department of International Trade

Alion Science and Technology Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acts for Bronson Consulting Group in a billion dollar case against the government of Canada involving a procurement for the delivery of Canadian visa services around the world.
  • Advises Alion in the challenging of a procurement for the replacement of Canada’s destroyers and frigates.
  • Has been appointed to the UK government’s post-Brexit international trade law panel in a consortium with London-based law firm Pinsent Masons and US law firm Baker Hostetler.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The public procurement team at Norton Rose Fulbright, that falls under the infrastructure service offering, is able to draw on the firm’s wider capabilities in PPP projects to act for private and public sector entities in public procurement matters across the country. The practice, which demonstrates particular strength in transport-related matters, is under the leadership of Douglas B. Buchanan and Jay LeMoine in Vancouver, the latter of whom focuses on infrastructure projects. Also sitting in Vancouver, Matt Mulligan provides support on all aspects of tender processes and procurement procedures. Sandra Nissan is a key contact in Toronto.

Key clients

CDPQ Infra

Infrastructure Ontario

TransLink

Metrolinx

Province of BC

Alberta Electric System Operator

SaskBuilds

Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Sewage & Drainage District)

Capital Regional District (Greater Victoria)

City of Ottawa

Infrastructure British Columbia

Seaspan ULC

Prince Rupert Port Authority

Fraser Health Authority

BCE Inc.

EMD, Inc.

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Lower Mainland Health Authorities

Toronto Hydro

Partnerships BC

Work highlights

  • Appointed to act as counsel to Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx on the Union Station Enhancement project, which is being procured using the “Alliance” contracting model.
  • Advising Interior Health Authority on the procurement, design and construction of a C$147m expansion to the existing Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake, British Columbia.
  • Advising BC Ministry of Transportation on the $2.8bn Broadway Subway project, a 5.7 km extension of the existing SkyTrain rapid transit system which will include elevated guideway and board tunnel.

Dentons

Dentons acts for a varied client base comprising key industry players in technology, energy, construction, infrastructure and defense, and is recommended for its ‘great reputation for delivering excellent procurement advice and litigation services’. Showcasing the ability to assist with public procurement at all levels of government and across the country, the department has a strong track record in high profile bid challenges and in the drafting of procurement and tendering documents. Based in Toronto, Paul Lalonde is the main point of contact in the team. He has a wealth of experience in government-contracting disputes. In the same office, Sean Stephenson focuses on government contracts and procurement challenges.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lalonde

Testimonials

‘Dentons has a great reputation for delivering excellent procurement advice and litigation services. ’

Key clients

Amazon Web Services

Waterfront Toronto

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Montreal’s University Health Centres CHUM, MUHC, Sainte-Justine UHC

TeamDynamix

VF Worldwide Holdings

West-Can Seal Coating Inc.

FTI Professional Grade Inc.

Tiree Facility Solutions

Work highlights

  • Represented AWS challenging the implementation of a federal Request for a Supply Arrangement for a Government Contract Centre Services valued at $150m at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT).
  • Represented Tiree as the successful bidder in the procurement challenge at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal brought by Tiree’s competitor in relation to a project  for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
  • Acted for FTI as the successful bidder in the procurement challenge at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal brought by FTI’s competitor relating to a federal government contract for 10,000 ventilators procured in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Providing advice to public sector procuring bodies and private entities, the public procurement team at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP is primarily sought after for its extensive experience in structuring projects, drafting procurement documents, conditions of tender and public contracts. The team, which covers all major business centres in Canada, is also well-positioned to assist clients in a range of industries including education, healthcare, construction and transport, in public procurement-related dispute resolution. Elizabeth Mayer, who is a partner in the Vancouver office, has acted for both public and private sector clients in tender compliance issues, procurement procedures and potential disputes.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mayer

Other key lawyers:

Mitchell Mostyn

Testimonials

‘The team was able to use resources from across the country in a seamless fashion and responded to issues in a timely fashion. Although initially hesitant to have lawyers from both BC and Ontario working on a file, we found that time differences allowed for a greater opportunity to ensure that any urgent issues were addressed quickly. The interaction between the lawyers based in BC and Ontario was seamless.’

‘The lawyers responded quickly and appropriately to any issues and turned around documents in an expedited manner. Was able to leverage the working experience of multiple lawyers from across the country. This also allowed for the lawyers to provide example of similar clauses used in other Provinces across Canada (or in other jursidictions). The two partners we worked with were Elizabeth Mayer (BC) and Mitchell Mostyn (Ontario).’

‘DLA is providing services for one of the first Alliance Contracting models in Canada and certainly the first in BC. DLA’s depth of understanding in complex procurement environments is certainly a team strength. ’

‘Exceptionally collaborative and responsive. Providing education sessions when necessary to assist the client’s understanding of complex issues. Elizabeth Mayer is exceptional.’

Key clients

Province of British Columbia

Fraser Health Authority

Infrastructure BC

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Transdev Canada

VIA Rail

Canada Infrastructure Bank

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Dragados Canada, Inc.

Bermuda Airport Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising Fraser Health Authority on Phase One of the redevelopment of Burnaby Hospital.
  • Acting for the Bermuda Airport Authority on all aspects of the ‎redevelopment of Bermuda’s only international airport, the L. F. Wade ‎International Airport.‎
  • Advising Island Health on the procurement of a new hospital using a competitive alliance procurement model.

Gowling WLG

Covering both contentious and non-contentious procurement law mandates, Gowling WLG  is well-versed in bid protests, litigation over public tenders and in the application of domestic and international trade agreements. The team, which is primarily based in Ottawa, offers support to procuring entities and bidders across a range of key sectors seeking advice on significant bidding decisions and compliance issues in all jurisdictions in Canada. Department leader Phuong Ngo assists with procedural risk mitigation, procurement documentation and bid protests.

Practice head(s):

Phuong Ngo

Other key lawyers:

Graham Ragan

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable in the area of Procurement. Quick response. Practical approach.’

‘Easy access and quick response.’

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault's procurement practice benefits from the firm’s wider strength in project finance and development, acting for a range of clients, most notably in the energy, financial services and infrastructure sectors. Besides representing government entities in all aspects of procurement, including assistance with procurement process management, compliance and legal challenges to tenders, the team also excels at advising private-sector clients on procurements issued by government entities. Catherine Samuel in Calgary oversees the team with Tristan Musgrave in Toronto. Anca Neacsu is a noteworthy practitioner in Montreal; she has a formidable track record in procurement and PPP projects more broadly. Brad Nicpon and Carrie Fleming are recent additions to the Toronto office: Nicpon joined from the Government of Ontario, while Fleming was formerly at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP .

Other key lawyers:

Anca Neacsu; Brad Nicpon; Carrie Fleming

Key clients

Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

EllisDon Group of Companies

Parsons Corporation

Aecon Concessions

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure

ACS Infrastructure Canada

Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation (Infrastructure Ontario)

Metrolinx

Government of Ontario

Wood Canada Limited

Vantage Airport Group

ATB Financial

York University

Scotia Capital Inc.

National Bank of Canada

Stonebridge Financial Corporation

ENGIE Services Inc.

Kiewit Development Canada

Graham Construction/Gracorp Development

Ledcor Group of Companies

RBC Capital Markets

The Canada Life Assurance Company

Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec

Ryerson University

Woodbine Entertainment Group

St. Michael’s Hospital

Shell Canada Energy

Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Wilfrid Laurier University

Work highlights

  • Acting for Wilfrid Laurier University on all aspects of the acquisition and multi-phased development of lands for a new university campus in Milton, Ontario, including with regards to the ongoing procurement of the PPP design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of its first building on these lands and the procurement of numerous project consultants and advisors for the development of the new university campus.
  • Assisting Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of the Solicitor General with respect to the procurement of the Thunder Bay Correctional Complex PPP Project in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Advising Waterfront Toronto in connection with their RFP to retain a developer partner for Quayside, a precedent-setting waterfront community.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP draws on its expertise in construction, project finance and development to assist clients across the healthcare, infrastructure, financial services, energy and technology sectors involved in public procurement law. Contentious work before all levels of courts and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) is a key area of activity for the department, which is also well-placed to advise on bid compliance, tendering disputes and procurement documents. The team is headed up by Richard Wong , who splits his time between Toronto and Montréal, and Chris Bennett in Toronto. Construction lawyer Roger Gillott is another name to note in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Richard Wong ; Chris Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Roger Gillott

Torys

Torys is well-positioned to represent public authorities, project proponents, lenders and equity investors participating in significant procurement and project mandates in the fields of high-speed internet, defence, and energy. A broad roster of public sector bodies routinely turn to the group for assistance with procurement process design, policy review and all associated documentation. Department head Philip Symmonds is a veteran practitioner in the public procurement space, while Thomas Yeo's far-reaching practice encompasses federal and provincial Crown corporations, agencies and municipalities. All named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Philip Symmonds

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Yeo; Adam Banack

Testimonials

‘They are very experienced. They take a practical, business-minded approach.’

‘Adam Banack is our main contact. He is exceptionally responsive, is clearly experienced and always provides practical advice that we can implement with our internal business partners.’

Key clients

Government of the Northwest Territories

Government of Yukon

Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners (Fengate/Gilbane/Stantec/Honeywell)

Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

The City of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Haldimand County

Government of Canada

Work highlights

  • Acted for Government of Canada, as the public authority, in its National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), a long-term project to renew Canada’s federal fleet of combat and non-combat vessels and Canada’s largest procurement initiative to date
  • Advising Government of Yukon as the public authority for the C$79m Dempster Fibre PPP project to design, build, operate and maintain a new 777 km fibre optic communication system connecting Dawson City, Yukon to the existing Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
  • Acted for Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners (Fengate/Gilbane/Stantec/Honeywell) as the successful proponent for the US$400m Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) PPP project to design, build, finance and maintain six new schools in Prince George County, Maryland.