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Contractor vows Saskatchewan hospital will rise despite big-picture money woes


NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — The Canadian wing of Carillion PLC says the financial collapse of the British construction giant will not affect the work or any jobs at a new mental health facility being built in Saskatchewan.

Carillion went into compulsory liquidation on Monday after weekend talks with creditors failed to get the short-term financing it needed to continue operating.

Cody Johnstone, a spokesman for Carillion Canada, says the subsidiary is not in liquidation and its 6,000 employees across Canada continue to be paid, along with its subcontractors and suppliers.

Carillion Canada is part of a public-private partnership under contract to construct Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, after which the subsidiary will maintain it for 30 years.

The provincial government committed $407 million to the project.

SaskBuilds, the Crown corporation managing the project for the Saskatchewan government, says all risks and costs fall on the partners, and any failure to complete the work on time and on budget would mean significant financial penalties.

A statement from SaskBuilds said if Carillion is not able to fulfil its commitment, the private consortium, known as Access Prairie Partners, would have to find a replacement without increasing the government’s cost.

The project is contracted through PP and SaskBuilds said the consortium has committed to keeping the government informed as it works through "Carillion’s situation."

The Opposition NDP has criticized the province’s decision to involve the private sector and a foreign company in building and maintaining the hospital.

"The government's priority seems to be defending their PST and covering up for their mismanagement, scandal and waste," said NDP health critic Danielle Char tier in a statement.

The new facility will include a 188-bed mental health hospital and a 96-cell correctional centre designed for inmates with mental health issues. It will replace the century-old Saskatchewan Hospital. (CTV Saskatoon, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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