Sask. Party hospital privatization failing Saskatchewan again

As part of their push to sell-off and privatize all they can, the Sask. Party handed control of designing, building, financing, and maintaining the much-needed new hospital in North Battleford to a foreign conglomerate. Today, the high costs and deep consequences of this decision were once again made clear with the announcement that one of the key companies in the conglomerate is going into liquidation.

“The Sask. Party’s focus should have been on putting Saskatchewan people first, supporting Saskatchewan businesses, ensuring more Saskatchewan jobs, and delivering this much-needed hospital for the best price,” said NDP Health Critic Danielle Chartier. “Instead, the Sask. Party’s priority seems to be defending their P3s and covering up for their mismanagement, scandal and waste.”

The UK-based Carillion company was supposed to be a key part of the foreign conglomerate during the construction phase and the three-decades-long, $185 million maintenance contract.

“At roughly $6 million per year, maintaining this one P3 hospital will cost Saskatchewan people significantly more than what was the annual budget for maintaining the entire Prairie North Health Region,” Chartier said. “The contract locks us in for 30 years but now, the company may not even be around in 30 days.”

The Saskatchewan NDP and others raised concerns about the Sask. Party’s $407 million Public Private Partnership for the hospital when it was first announced and, last October, it was reported that construction crews hired under contract by the foreign conglomerate had to tear down exterior bricks and cladding to remove and repair faulty insulation.

“The Sask. Party gave this almost half-billion-dollar contract to a foreign conglomerate that has failed at properly building the hospital and even managing their own finances,” Chartier said. “The Sask. Party are the ones gambling with Saskatchewan people’s money and our health, but it’s always the Saskatchewan people who are forced to pay the price.”