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The Ontario government’s P3 hospital scheme has come under fire yet again for its lack of transparency and accountability. The Ontario Health Coalition blasted the McGuinty government for tendering more than $1 billion worth of contracts for seven new private hospitals – without making the requests for proposals public.

Coalition director Natalie Mehra questions the intense secrecy, arguing the government is “sacrificing the public interest in order to push through the P3 privatization of our hospitals over public opposition.” Unlike RFPs for most government contracts, the P3 tenders aren’t available on the province’s website for public tenders.

The coalition has discovered that local hospitals are under a gag order preventing them from discussing estimated costs of the new building, which prevents a comparison of costs as the contracts move forward.

The government has further skewed the playing field by promising to pay companies for the costs of bidding on the P3s, even though the companies stand to make enormous profits from the deals.