Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

October 04, 2007 09:42 ET

McGuinty Team Hides Private Hospital Costs-Minister Has to Go

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2007) - Dalton McGuinty needs to explain why his MPPs and Cabinet Ministers tried to keep massive cost overruns of the Bluewater Health hospital in Sarnia secret - and explain to working families why he's keeping Minister Caroline Di Cocco in his Cabinet.

A copy of a leaked letter posted by the Sarnia Observer shows that Maria Van Bommel, Liberal candidate in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, and Health Minister George Smitherman all knew that a Liberal private money hospital had doubled in cost.

Caroline Di Cocco was copied on the letter but repeatedly denied any knowledge of cost increases - and now claims she never saw the letter.

But none of McGuinty's team made the information public, despite public requests from Sarnia mayor Mike Bradley who was concerned costs were increasing. The August 14th letter from George Smitherman shows that costs for Bluewater Health hospital in Sarnia doubled to $276 million over the past year.

The Sarnia Observer notes:

"News that the cost of building Sarnia's new hospital project has doubled in just over a year rubs salt in the wound of a community that's waited 15 years for construction to begin.

"Naturally, the Liberals would have preferred for the $276-million price tag to remain under wraps until after the Oct. 10 election. This mess, after all, has happened on their watch..." (Sarnia Observer, October 3, 2007).

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