OTTAWA, ON – The federal government will force the Ottawa Hospital to cover the extra costs associated with building at the Sir John Carling Site, despite overruling the previously-chosen location and forcing the hospital into that location, documents quietly tabled in Parliament yesterday confirm.
The answers, received by Carleton Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre, are the latest in a string of rising costs, delays, and challenges faced by the Ottawa Hospital since the Liberal government decided to change the location of the new Civic Campus. The Carling Site is a sloped surface, contaminated, located next to a fault line, and contains more than 500 trees. The federal government says those challenges will have to be paid for by the hospital.
“Yesterday the government confirmed that it is sticking the Ottawa Hospital with the bill for being located at the Sir John Carling Site, despite that location being forced on the hospital by the government,” said Poilievre. “This has just been one issue after another ever since the Liberal government decided to interfere in a location that was already studied, chosen, and approved – the big open field across the street from the current Civic Campus.”
The documents reveal that:
- The federal government refuses to say who will pay the extra cost of preparing the Sir John Carling Site, which contains a sloped surface, is contaminated, is located next to a fault line, and contains more than 500 trees.
- The National Capital Commission will not only impose design and architectural requirements on the project (something we already knew) but will also require the hospital to pay the costs of these federal requirements.
- The federal government will not finalize the land transfer agreement until “early 2018” – another six-month delay.
- The federal government does not know the cost to the hospital of all the delays that have mounted since minister Catherine McKenna intervened to block the hospital from building across the street from its existing location.
- The government still does not know what will happen to the three existing buildings on the Sir John Carling Site. It is not clear if the hospital will also need to fund the removal of these buildings. The government can avoid these costs all together, by allowing the hospital to locate in the big open field across the street from the existing campus.
“Once again, it is time for the federal government to get out of the way and allow the hospital to build where it originally chose: in the big open field across the street from the current Civic Campus,” Poilievre concluded.