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January 29, 2003


Donations Explain Rush To Private Hospitals

QUEEN'S PARK -- Political donations to the Conservative Party reveal why the
government is in such a rush to privatize hospitals in Ottawa and Brampton,
NDP Health Critic Shelley Martel says. "Companies that donated to the
Conservatives stand to pocket precious public health care dollars in these
private hospital deals," Martel said today. "The entire private hospital
process must be halted now. This shows how wrong it is to allow the private
sector into the health care field."

A media report today revealed that the three companies bidding on the new
Royal Ottawa Hospital all donated to the Tories. Health Minister Tony
Clement received $10,000 from Aecon; $2,500 from Borealis Infrastructure and
$2,500 from EllisDon. Borealis also donated almost $5,000 to theConservative
Party.  SNC Lavalin and PCL Constructors are also part of the Ottawa bid and
both donated to the Tories. SNC gave $3,590 to the PC Party and PCL donated
$1,000 to both the Clement and Jim Flaherty leadership campaigns.

NDP research has found that Aecon, Borealis, Ellis Don, SNC and PCL are all
involved in the bidding for the private William Osler Hospital in Brampton.
Buttcom Ltd. also involved in the Brampton bid donated $17, 815 to the
Tories since 1995.

"Private hospitals divert public health funds into for-profit pockets.
That's why these firms are so generous when it comes to helping the
Conservative Party," Martel said. The Nickel Belt MPP called on the Premier
Ernie Eves to call an election and let voters decide whether they favour
public health care or a for-profit American model.