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Politicization of infrastructure hurting Alberta: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB (December 1, 2014): Escalating deferred maintenance costs in hospitals across Alberta are a direct result of ignored priorities and politicized infrastructure spending from the PC government , the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

A new investigative report published in the Edmonton Journal shows the cost of deferred maintenance for hospitals in Alberta is currently at $1.02 billion.  Documents show the province spends $1.5 million every year to evaluate the condition of health facilities, but the process is “highly flawed and subject to manipulation behind the scenes.”

“For too many years, the government has based its infrastructure spending on what will win them the most votes instead of what will be most effective. This has led to deferred maintenance and crumbling hospitals across the province,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said.  “Albertans deserve a government that builds the facilities we need, regardless of where they are or what it could mean at the ballot box.”

On Time and On Budget, a new report recently released by the Wildrose, lays out the Wildrose plan to transform how Alberta Infrastructure operates to improve cost efficiency, transparency and innovation.

The Journal report clearly shows that funding decisions are not based on need for provincial health facilities. Only a third of projects listed as a top priority by Alberta Health Services have been rubber stamped by the government.

Wildrose Infrastructure Critic Pat Stier said from sewage backups at the Wainwright Health Centre, to mould in the kitchen at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary and flooding at the Misericordia hospitals, the government’s failure to prioritize is having a direct impact on Albertans. 

“Alberta spends more per capita than any other province, but our results don’t show it,” Stier said.  “Years of inaction have led to the current challenges facing infrastructure in our province.  Albertans believe it’s time to put forward new, positive ideas to fix these problems instead of maintaining the status quo.”