Alberta Premier Ralph Klein continues to push his vision for sustainable heath care and infrastructure, and makes no secret that vision involves massive privatization. He has recently talked about user fees and a luxurious hotel-hospital for wealthy patients, while confirming that he will release a detailed plan to reform health care in June. The plan is expected to include specific proposals to privatize services within the current health care system.
Klein has told the legislature that construction of Calgarys P3 super-courthouse has been put on hold because the cost to build it is 66 per cent higher than budgeted. To contain costs Klein has suggested scaling back from a three-court facility, leaving the Alberta Court of Appeal in its current building, which was once reported to contain toxic mould.
There was also some discussion on financing, whether we leave it up to the private contractor to obtain its own financing or whether we provide the financing, says Klein.
Meanwhile, Albertas auditor general Fred Dunn warns that P3s could spiral into another corruption scandal. Its worth noting six of eight members of the provinces advisory committee on alternative capital financing have strong ties to the development or banking industries, says Dunn. He also points out that privateers sole interest is making profits.