Saturday, April 22, 2006

George Smitherman's scam

The London Free Press reports in an article by Patrick Maloney that the Ontario Liberal government has green-lighted the construction of a new hospital in Woodstock that is estimated by "some" to cost $90 million. The subline reads: "Built with private funds, new facility will operate as part of public system."

“There’s never been any (doubt) about the ... construction of a new hospital here,” [health minister George] Smitherman told reporters. “Behind the scenes (there was) a furious level of activity to find the fiscal capacity to move this project forward.”

Technically, Smitherman and his Liberal cabinet colleague, infrastructure minister David Caplan, announced no new money today. The cost of the hospital will be borrowed from a private investor and paid back over time, like a homeowner would repay a mortgage.
It would appear that there was never going to any difficulty for this government finding the fiscal capacity to build the hospital because it isn't finding it at all — it's putting it off to taxpayers to find it in the future and to future administrations to levy it. To the Free Press reporter I ask: is all deficit financing to be referred to now as private funds?

2 comments:

Pietr said...

Over here it's called Public Private Partnership, or 'PPP'.
It was the big scam,sorry, scheme, introduced by Phoney Tony Bliar as part of the 'project'.
You get all the money, competence and ability of the 'private sector', with none of those pesky 'property' issues.

They used to advertise lots of jobs every week;if you had this mysterious PPP-ability you could grab a lot of dough.

MapMaster said...

In Ontario it's known as P3, but it stands for the same thing. Any mention of the word "private" raises the bugaboo alarms of the usual suspects, who view anything private with suspicion and are concerned with the loss of guaranteed union privileges. Of course, it is all a scam, guaranteeing profits to certain individuals and insuring the risks with taxes, but criticism of P3 is almost never along these lines, just from groups competing for similar guarantees.