Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

September 23, 2007 16:54 ET

Ontario's NDP: McGuinty Liberals Admit Taking Money Out of Medicare for Private Profits

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2007) - Today Dalton McGuinty's health minister, George Smitherman, admitted: "Pretending you can take money out of health care, when our population is aging, and still increase services, is an idea that belongs in the boneyard of failed conservative ideas."

But the McGuinty Liberals are doing just that - and they admitted as much when questioned by NDP Leader Howard Hampton. During hearings into their own private hospital scheme, the McGuinty Liberals admitted they planned to divert millions of health dollars into private profit:

Mr. Hampton : (T)he base cost of the (North Bay) hospital project, using the traditional public sector approach, would be $404.6 million. Is that correct?

Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal Deputy Carol Layton: ...Yes.

Mr. Hampton: And the base cost of the Plenary Health profit-driven project is $551.7 million. Is that correct?

Mr. Hughes: Also correct, yes.

Mr. Hampton: That's a $147-million differential. Is that right?

Ms. Layton: That's right. ...

Mr. Hampton: The company would also expect to make a profit; this profit-driven, private sector consortium would want to make a profit. Is that also-

Ms. Layton: They're not philanthropic organizations; we admit that.

Mr. Hampton: I just want to be clear: Is that also in the $147-million difference? Is that where it is?

McGuinty Minister David Caplan: Presumably, yes.

Source: Standing Committee on Estimates - May 09, 2007 - Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal

Taking $147 million - almost 40% - out of a hospital and putting it into profit - a "retro" idea? Not according to the McGuinty Liberals. They admit it - and they've done it over 30 times across the province.

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