06 October 2007

Your money... his friends

I thought public-private partnerships were supposed to save money...
Ontario's Liberal government has paid out almost $1 billion to private companies to cover new hospital construction overruns, a coalition of community health organizations said Friday.

"This has to be Dalton McGuinty's most expensive broken promise from the last election," Dora Jeffries, co-chair of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) said in a statement. "The whole justification for privatization was that P3s supposedly came in "on time" and "in budget," Jeffries said.

"But every single privatized P3 hospital is vastly over budget and every single one is late," she said.
There's a real smell here... that brings to mind Dalton's Chretienite role models. What can we call this fiasco... Buildscam?

Premier McSlippery sure learns fast.
Cost overruns calculated by the OHC based on government figures include:

– Sault Ste. Marie's hospital cost $208 million more than forecast and $408 million in total;

– Sarnia's hospital costs $74 million more than forecast and $214 million in total;

– Brampton's hospital went $300 million over budget and cost $650 million;

– The Royal Ottawa overspent by $46 million for a total of $146 million, and;

– North Bay's hospital was $333 million more than envisioned and $551 million in total.

"In any project you would expect inflationary increases such as higher steel or labour costs," Mehra said.

But taking Brampton as an example, that hospital project shrunk in size to 479 beds from 608.

"To have a $350 million project go to a $650 million project, and shrink in size, requires more explanation than inflation," she said.

The OHC has also been fighting with the province, and has even gone to court to force the release of the financial details of the deals the Liberals have struck with private developers.

"So far the government has gotten away with not divulging any of the financial details of these contracts," Mehra said.

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