Tory calls for accountability in health care

    Stops in Sarnia, Burlington and Barrie highlight McGuinty's neglect

    SARNIA, ON, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader John
Tory today visited the site of the Sarnia Hospital which has recently been at
the centre of a storm of controversy for costing over twice what was
originally budgeted.
    "This morning, the Sarnia Observer reported that the actual cost of the
hospital is closer to $320 million, not a maximum of $276 million as Dalton
McGuinty's ministers insist. Mr. McGuinty, I challenge you to tell the people
of Sarnia the truth. The taxpayers here deserve to know the full cost and its
implications. They deserve results."
    The Sarnia hospital received provincewide attention when local Liberal
Cabinet Minister Caroline Di Cocco brushed off questions regarding full cost
of the hospital, by claiming she did not know the answer. Since her original
denial, new government documents have revealed that she did, in fact, receive
written notice of the cost overruns weeks before she claimed ignorance.
    Tory called on Dalton McGuinty to make the true cost of the hospital
public. He pledged to get to the bottom of the scandal when elected.
    "A John Tory PC government will immediately order an independent,
in-depth audit of the massive cost overruns and all surrounding issues, to let
the public know exactly how this happened, and who is responsible. And the
share of the cost overrun that the audit shows is the responsibility of the
province, should be paid 100 per cent by the province."
    Tory maintained that the mismanagement of health care resources runs
vastly deeper than the community of Sarnia alone. In communities such as North
Bay, local residents are grappling with the consequences of hospital projects
that Dalton McGuinty allowed to go excessively over budget. At the same time
in communities such as Burlington and Barrie, where Mr. Tory is scheduled to
visit later on today, vital health care infrastructure needs continue to be
    "The Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington desperately needs a
long-overdue expansion," Mr. Tory said, "My colleague, Burlington candidate
Joyce Savoline even introduced a resolution in the legislature calling for
Dalton McGuinty to add the Joe Brant hospital to his capital projects list,
only to have George Smitherman, Ted McMeekin and Kevin Flynn vote it down. In
Barrie, the fastest-growing community in Canada, the urgent care clinic is
bursting at the seams."
    Mr. Tory committed that a PC government would implement accountable
planning practices for future PC capital investments as part of his commitment
to increase overall health investment by $8.5 billion. He also reiterated his
unyielding commitment to invest $400 million to solve Ontario's massive doctor
and nurse shortage so that Ontario's health care system has the human
resources sufficient to provide the service quality that patients are right to
    "As Ontario's population increases and ages - the demands on our health
care system will only grow." Tory concluded "It is vital that we therefore
ensure maximum value for every health care dollar we spend. For real
competence and accountability in health care, leadership matters."

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    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
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    website at Images are free to accredited
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For further information:

For further information: Mike Van Soelen, Tel: (647) 722-1760

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