Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NDP Says Nova Scotia Lobbied to Use Private Partnerships for Halifax Hospitals

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NDP Says Nova Scotia Lobbied to Use Private Partnerships for Halifax Hospitals

Article excerpt

NDP warns against P3s for Halifax hospitals

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's Liberal government was warned off using a public-private partnership model in its massive redevelopment of Atlantic Canada's largest research hospital Thursday, following the release of government documents by the third party NDP.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill said a freedom of information request submitted by his party shows the government is being heavily lobbied by large firms interested in participating in a so-called P3 project at the QE-II Health Sciences Centre in downtown Halifax.

Burrill said the government has had reservations before and should have again.

"We know that when it came to the privatization of the registries the government went a long way down the road before they realized there would be a lot of concern about this and they backed out. We know there was serious consideration given to a P3 model for the highways . . . and they backed out."

Burrill said it's important to realize that some major players in the development world are now applying pressure to the government.

"We think it's very important for the same public concern and the same public pressure to be raised now because it is the wrong way to go." he said.

The government has been up front about a possible P3 option since announcing the project in April 2016. It has hired consultant Deloitte to examine whether a P3 option is viable.

Premier Stephen McNeil said while the option is under consideration, no decision has been made.

"Nothing has been brought to me at this point in terms of which option may be the best one to use," McNeil said. …

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