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In late October, the new Royal Ottawa Hospital mental facility opened to great fanfare about being on time and on budget. But the Ontario Health Coalition is charging the McGuinty government with fudging the numbers.

Economist Hugh Mackenzie scrutinized the government’s numbers and found that the new Royal Ottawa Hhospital will cost $88 million more over the life of the privately-financed project than a publicly-financed hospital built the traditional way.

The ROH costs have increased by $46 million on a $100- million project. In Brampton, Ont., the costs increased from $350 million to an astounding $550 million and the hospital size has shrunk. In both cases, the negotiations for the deals cost tens of millions in unnecessary lawyers and consultants and took many months longer than projected, said Marlene Rivier, Ottawa Health Coalition co- chair.

Rivier revealed that the ROH is still not complete and has charged that it has some serious design flaws and safety problems. Visit the Ontario Health Coalition for backgrounders and the full economist’s review.