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Yet another P3 – this one a correctional facility in Nova Scotia – has come under heavy criticism from that province’s Auditor General.

In his 2001 Annual Report, E. Roy Salmon concludes, “The government structured the project as a P3. We do not see significant benefits being realized by government in structuring the project in this way.”

As well, says the A.G., a government decision to build the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility and East Coast Forensic Psychiatric Hospital facility in Burnside – instead of its originally recommended location of Bedford – cost taxpayers an extra $3.1 million.

The surprise decision to move the prison location is widely attributed to the fact that Community and Social Services Minister Peter Christie was receiving major heat from constituents in his upscale Bedford riding about the jail.

The cost of the facility was supposed to be $60 million. The A.G. also took exception to the fact that there was no detailed reporting to the House of Assembly on the increase in the cost of the new facility – some $22 million.