Quebec P3 subject of raid by anti-corruption squad

McGill University Health Centre P3 in the middle of more scandal.

Montreal (20 Sept. 2012) - The recent raid of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) by police investigating concerns about the public-private partnership (P3) project to build a hospital is a reminder of the seamy side of privatization. But this is not the first problem with the MUHC P3 hospital.

This P3 project has come under fire twice already. First, Quebec's auditor general found errors in the cost comparison between the P3 and public options for the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). When those errors were corrected, the P3 option went from being $33.8 million cheaper than the public option to $10.4 million more expensive.

Then, two months ago, it was announced that the P3 hospital would be four months late opening.

Privatization proponents see the MUHC P3 as an example for other private hospitals to follow. In 2010, the MUHC P3 received a Gold Award for Project Financing from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

The MUHC P3 example is one more reminder of the problems caused by keeping information about privatization from the public. Rules requiring transparency and accountability are needed to protect the public interest when the privatization is proposed for public services.

The Public Services Foundation of Canada has put out a five point plan to protect the public interest when privatizing services was proposed. You can find that plan in the Foundation's report Something to Value.

More information:

Public Service Foundation of Canada: Something to Value

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