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Barlow to speak against proposed P3 hospital in Saskatchewan

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be in Saskatchewan this month to speak against a proposed public-private partnership hospital.

The Brad Wall provincial government wants to build the P3 hospital in North Battleford, a city located about 130 kilometres north-west of Saskatoon.

The hospital would provide mental health services to the general population as well as to inmates. The hospital would have 188 beds for mental health patients and an adjoining 96 cell correctional facility. It would replace the current Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford (SHNB) that was built in 1913.

The Battlefords News-Optimist reports, “[CUPE] and the Council of Canadians have organized a Town Hall Meeting for Oct. 22 at the Dekker Centre that will include guest speakers such as Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow and former MLA Len Taylor to speak on the issue.”

The Wall government is seeking proposals from three consortiums of for-profit companies – Access Prairies Partnership, Integrated Team Solutions and Plenary Health North Battleford LP – for the new P3 hospital. The companies chosen would design, build, finance and maintain the P3 hospital.

In more detail, the bids are coming from:

  • Access Prairies Partnership: Graham Design Builders LP, Gracorp Capital Advisors Ltd., Carillion Canada Inc., Connor, Clark & Lunn GVest Traditional Infrastructure LP, WSP Canada, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning.


  • Integrated Team Solutions: Ellis Don Corporation and Ellis Don Capital Inc., Fengate Capital Management, Cofely Services, MMM Group Ltd., Stephenson Engineering Ltd., Parkin Architects Limited, Group2 Architecture Interior Design.


  • Plenary Health North Battleford LP: Plenary Group (Canada) Ltd., PCL Construction Management Inc., Johnson Controls Canada LP, Acumen Engineering Ltd., DGBK, B+H Architects, Montgomery Sisam.

The consortium would be chosen by the summer of 2015 with the hospital scheduled to open in 2018.

Global News reports, “The price tag will be determined through a P3 bidding process.” Battlefords NOW adds, “Brian Manegre, President of CUPE Local 5111, says it’s impossible to know how money is being saved if the project is not priced out the traditional way with public financing. He says the government is not forthcoming with information about the project.”

The Regina Leader-Post notes the hospital “could cost between $175 million and $250 million.”

A statement by Tom Graham, the president of CUPE Saskatchewan, in opposition to the P3 hospital can be read here. He points to the fact that while governments promise that P3 hospitals will save on costs, experience tells us the public ends up paying millions more for them. 

Prior to her October 22 visit to North Battleford, Barlow will be speaking on the need to ‘protect, strengthen and expand health care‘ in Campbell River on October 20 and in Courtenay on October 21. For more on the Council of Canadians public health care campaign, please click here.