Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

October 03, 2007 12:39 ET

Hampton Calls for Di Cocco's Resignation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2007) - Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton is calling on Sarnia-Lambton MPP Caroline Di Cocco to resign her cabinet position following revelations that the costs of the Dalton McGuinty government's private-money Bluewater Health has doubled. Minister Di Cocco has been claiming that she didn't know about the cost-overrun. However, a memo obtained by the Sarnia Observer shows that Minister Di Cocco was informed of the hospital's cost in August.

"Either Minister Di Cocco is incompetent - or she is not being completely open with the working families of Sarnia and the Province of Ontario. Either way she has demonstrated a complete lack of leadership, and I am calling on her to resign her cabinet position," said Hampton. "If she doesn't do the right thing, she should be fired."

Health Minister George Smitherman has offered no explanation as to why the costs have doubled. The alarming details revealed in a letter from Minister Smitherman have left local MPP Caroline Di Cocco claiming ignorance and scrambling to defend her government's reckless planning while admitting that the cost overrun will be passed on to local taxpayers.

"Caroline Di Cocco has spent the last three weeks of this campaign saying she didn't know how much the hospital was going to cost. Now that there is evidence that she did know - she says 'she didn't get the memo'," said Hampton. "Working families in Sarnia and across Ontario deserve a better explanation."

Hampton says the Sarnia cost over-runs are just the most recent example in a string of massive cost overruns of private money for-profit hospitals including hospitals in Brampton and North Bay.

"Every dollar wasted on expensive private money building projects is another dollar that can't be put into patient care. This is money of hardworking Ontarians we're talking about - your money. Our taxes are supposed to be ensuring we have the services working family's need. Not being poured into quarter-billion-dollar private boondoggles," said Hampton.

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