"Reality Check" on Monique Smith's Claims Regarding the North Bay Privatized P3 Hospital



    NORTH BAY, ON, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - This morning, while delivering the
first 4,000 pledges to make the P3 privatization of the local hospital
redevelopment a key election issue, local liberal MPP Monique Smith got into a
debate with North Bay health coalition co chair Sheena Nesbitt.
    "Either Monique Smith has done no research of her own on this issue, or
she is playing fast and easy with the facts," noted Sheena Nesbitt. "Ms. Smith
is wrong on some key information. There is no question that the North Bay
hospital is a privatized P3. It is simply fact that the new hospital will be
controlled by a 30 year contract with the multinational for-profit consortium
and this limits the powers of the public hospital board. It is a clear fact
that the for-profit companies involved can sell off their interest in our
hospital to other multinational consortia, despite Ms. Smith's claims to the
contrary. We hope that Ms. Smith and other MPPs will do some independent
research and learn about the consequences of the P3 privatization policy for
our health system.
    "In fact, the global evidence is extremely clear that privatized P3
hospitals lead to cuts in service and loss of democratic control. We have
based all of our concerns on expert opinions, credible sources and systematic
studies every step of the way. P3 privatization threatens the future of our
local health services. That's why we will work through the summer and the
election campaign to gather thousands of pledges in our community to make this
a key election issue," she concluded.

    The coalition is issuing a "reality check" briefing note to clear up any
misinformation.

    1) North Bay Regional Health Centre is a privatized P3 hospital.

    This morning MPP Monique Smith repeatedly claimed that NBRHC is not a P3.
She is wrong. By all accepted definitions of P3s - used by the industry
itself, academics, consultants and all other provinces in Canada and
governments around the world - the NBRHC is a privatized P3 hospital. For
proof: http://www.pppcouncil.ca/aboutPPP-definition.asp (pro-P3 lobby group),
http://www.projectfinancemagazine.com/default.asp?page=1100&subtype=notloggedo
n&Status=8 (Project Finance magazine online article about the renaming of the
P3s, Brampton, Ottawa and North Bay), http://www.lexpert.ca/500/lb.php?id=119
(law firm),
www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/Popular_Primers/bottom_line_p3.pdf -
(think tank).

    2) North Bay Regional Health Centre is same financial model as Brampton's
disastrous privatized P3 hospital

    This morning MPP Monique Smith claimed that NBRHC is not the same
financial model as Brampton's P3 disaster. This is not true. In fact, the
McGuinty government tried to pretend that the Brampton hospital was no longer
a privatized P3 deal when they announced that they had made the contract their
own and signed the deal. At that time, they claimed that Brampton was
different from the Conservative's deal: they had changed the deal
substantially and they later began to call it an "Alternative Finance"
mechanism hospital. Now that we have completely disproved these assertions,
they are claiming that Brampton is a P3 and it is not their deal, it is the
Conservatives' responsibility. Now they are claiming that North Bay will be
different, it is an AFP/AFM etc. For proof see government news releases at the
time: http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2003/11/21/c5076.html?lmatch=(less
than)=_e.html
    In fact, Brampton has private financing, with services and commercial
deals on the public property bundled into the deal for 25 years. North Bay has
private financing, with services and commercial deals on the property bundled
into the deal for 30 years. While the number of services privatized in the
North Bay deal are fewer, at least initially (though the contract provides for
more privatizations and commercial deals to be bundled into the 30 year
contract as it proceeds) the private financing model and the gargantuan
contract with services and commercial deals bundled into it for 30 years
remain. The same cost overruns, missed deadlines, higher financing costs,
rafts of lawyers and consultants cashing in on millions in fees are already
happening in North Bay's privatized P3 hospital.

    3) The Multinational For-Profit P3 Consortium Can Sell Off Their Interest
in the North Bay Hospital to Another Multinational Company

    This morning, Monique Smith claimed that the multinational consortium
could not sell off its interest in the new North Bay hospital as a revenue
stream from which it can take profit. This is untrue. In fact, the P3 contract
specifies exactly how the consortium can sell off its part of the hospital to
another set of for-profit companies. In fact, the for-profit consortia tend to
flip the hospitals within the first decade and take a generous windfall profit
from the deal. For proof: Project Agreement, esp. pgs 145 - 147. The OHC can
provide additional articles about the sell-off of the British P3 hospitals and
the windfall profits taken by the consortia.




For further information:

For further information: Sheena Nesbitt, (705) 476-9534; Natalie Mehra,
cell: (416) 230-6402

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