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Gerry Byrne details his 10-year history since Corner Brook hospital first announced


Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Gerry Byrne decided to have a little fun at the former provincial government’s expense Thursday when he discussed the serious business of the regional hospital planned for Corner Brook.

Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Gerry Byrne spoke to the Rotary Club of Corner Brook Thursday. Seated are, from left, Rotarians Ted Cross and Martin Steele.

The Liberal legislature representative for Corner Brook gave his take on the history of the long overdue project, which the previous government had initially said would be operational by now.

Complete with silly cartoon renditions of what he said the former Progressive Conservative administrations might as well have been promising to build, Byrne outlined what he called were a series of delays and inaction that led to the hospital site being little more than a huge dog park for the past several years.

Here is Byrne’s timeline of what went on in the last 10 years with regards to planning the hospital:

What the PC government did

October 2007: The PC government under Premier Danny Williams announced it will replace Western Memorial Regional Hospital and budgeted $142 million for the project.

January 2009: AMEC Consultants given $120,000 contract for site evaluation.

April 2009: Hatch Mott MacDonald/Agnew Peckham Consultants awarded $1.6-million contract to produce master plan, a functional plan and a pre-design series of studies of the future hospital.

Late 2009/Early 2010: Master plan and functional plan delivered. Estimated project completion cost now at $800 million.

September 2010: Provincial government asserted construction will begin in 2012 and the hospital will be completed in 2016.

November 2011: Stantec Consulting Engineers were brought in to do a due diligence analysis of all of Hatch Mott MacDonald’s $1.6-million worth of work. The Stantec contract was worth $177,000 and Stantec offered up a series of re-design suggestions.

August 2012: Government stood down for six months and then called in Stantec again to re-design and deliver a brand new master plan. That contract was worth $205,000. Government announced the hospital is now being right-sized.

March 2013: Stantec delivered a new master plan for 160 acute care beds, down from 199 in the current hospital, 100 long-term care beds and a 48-bed hostel.

Budget 2013: Government announced $227 for the hospital. Byrne said the actual construction costs were kept confidential. Those costs, according to Byrne, were $588 million, give or take 30 per cent — or between $411.6 million and $764.4 million.

July 2013: Stantec awarded $1-million contract to deliver a second functional plan.

September 2013: Six years after the initial announcement, government decided to proceed with a specific development program, namely a design-build approach. The Department of Transportation and Works was directed to develop two construction packages: one for long-term care and one for acute care. Requests for proposals were issued.

July 2013 to April 2014: Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan rejected repeated calls for radiation therapy, insisting that offering radiation in Corner Brook would result in patient deaths.

May 2014: Government decided to include radiation therapy and Sullivan was moved out of the health portfolio. Government then hired a consultant at a cost of $500,000 to investigate feasibility of the radiation therapy decision.

July 2014: Corner Brook Care Team — a consortium of companies, namely B+H, Montgomery Sisam Architects, PCL Construction and Marco Construction — was awarded both design-build development packages valued at $12 million.

July 2014 to April 2015: Corner Brook Care Team focused on the long-term care package, with the understanding it should come first.

April 2015: Government reversed its decision and decided to proceed with a request for proposals for a design-build-operate contract for the long-term care package only. Corner Brook Care Team was ordered to stop planning the design-build of the long-term care component and ordered to redirect efforts on the acute care package and to re-incorporate previously removed components. Byrne said these changes resulted in significant additional costs, though no new money was made available.

March 2015: Government said it remained committed to building the new hospital and that declining oil revenues wouldn’t impact that promise.

Budget 2015: According to Byrne, a detail of the budget was kept secret from the public: all future funding for the Corner Brook hospital was removed from the budget and the multi-year fiscal plan. Government continued to insist the hospital is proceeding.

Election 2015: The PCs promised the hospital is proceeding.

January 2016: Former premier and now Opposition Leader Paul Davis criticized the new Liberal government for proceeding with the hospital at a time when oil revenues are low. Davis admitted money for the hospital had been removed from the budget in 2015.

The Liberals’ plan

Jan. 20, 2017: Government posted a request for qualifications for a public-private partnership to design, build and maintain the long-term care component of the new hospital

Feb. 20, 2017: Deadline for request for qualifications is due.

Mach/April 2017: Government will announce the successful group of bidders and will issue a request for proposals.

Summer 2017: A private partner will be selected.

Fall 2017: Construction of the long-term care component is scheduled to begin.

Fall 2019: Long-term care facility is scheduled to be ready to welcome patients.

Source: Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Gerry Byrne

The Liberal legislature representative for Corner Brook gave his take on the history of the long overdue project, which the previous government had initially said would be operational by now.

Complete with silly cartoon renditions of what he said the former Progressive Conservative administrations might as well have been promising to build, Byrne outlined what he called were a series of delays and inaction that led to the hospital site being little more than a huge dog park for the past several years.

Here is Byrne’s timeline of what went on in the last 10 years with regards to planning the hospital:

What the PC government did

October 2007: The PC government under Premier Danny Williams announced it will replace Western Memorial Regional Hospital and budgeted $142 million for the project.

January 2009: AMEC Consultants given $120,000 contract for site evaluation.

April 2009: Hatch Mott MacDonald/Agnew Peckham Consultants awarded $1.6-million contract to produce master plan, a functional plan and a pre-design series of studies of the future hospital.

Late 2009/Early 2010: Master plan and functional plan delivered. Estimated project completion cost now at $800 million.

September 2010: Provincial government asserted construction will begin in 2012 and the hospital will be completed in 2016.

November 2011: Stantec Consulting Engineers were brought in to do a due diligence analysis of all of Hatch Mott MacDonald’s $1.6-million worth of work. The Stantec contract was worth $177,000 and Stantec offered up a series of re-design suggestions.

August 2012: Government stood down for six months and then called in Stantec again to re-design and deliver a brand new master plan. That contract was worth $205,000. Government announced the hospital is now being right-sized.

March 2013: Stantec delivered a new master plan for 160 acute care beds, down from 199 in the current hospital, 100 long-term care beds and a 48-bed hostel.

Budget 2013: Government announced $227 for the hospital. Byrne said the actual construction costs were kept confidential. Those costs, according to Byrne, were $588 million, give or take 30 per cent — or between $411.6 million and $764.4 million.

July 2013: Stantec awarded $1-million contract to deliver a second functional plan.

September 2013: Six years after the initial announcement, government decided to proceed with a specific development program, namely a design-build approach. The Department of Transportation and Works was directed to develop two construction packages: one for long-term care and one for acute care. Requests for proposals were issued.

July 2013 to April 2014: Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan rejected repeated calls for radiation therapy, insisting that offering radiation in Corner Brook would result in patient deaths.

May 2014: Government decided to include radiation therapy and Sullivan was moved out of the health portfolio. Government then hired a consultant at a cost of $500,000 to investigate feasibility of the radiation therapy decision.

July 2014: Corner Brook Care Team — a consortium of companies, namely B+H, Montgomery Sisam Architects, PCL Construction and Marco Construction — was awarded both design-build development packages valued at $12 million.

July 2014 to April 2015: Corner Brook Care Team focused on the long-term care package, with the understanding it should come first.

April 2015: Government reversed its decision and decided to proceed with a request for proposals for a design-build-operate contract for the long-term care package only. Corner Brook Care Team was ordered to stop planning the design-build of the long-term care component and ordered to redirect efforts on the acute care package and to re-incorporate previously removed components. Byrne said these changes resulted in significant additional costs, though no new money was made available.

March 2015: Government said it remained committed to building the new hospital and that declining oil revenues wouldn’t impact that promise.

Budget 2015: According to Byrne, a detail of the budget was kept secret from the public: all future funding for the Corner Brook hospital was removed from the budget and the multi-year fiscal plan. Government continued to insist the hospital is proceeding.

Election 2015: The PCs promised the hospital is proceeding.

January 2016: Former premier and now Opposition Leader Paul Davis criticized the new Liberal government for proceeding with the hospital at a time when oil revenues are low. Davis admitted money for the hospital had been removed from the budget in 2015.

The Liberals’ plan

Jan. 20, 2017: Government posted a request for qualifications for a public-private partnership to design, build and maintain the long-term care component of the new hospital

Feb. 20, 2017: Deadline for request for qualifications is due.

Mach/April 2017: Government will announce the successful group of bidders and will issue a request for proposals.

Summer 2017: A private partner will be selected.

Fall 2017: Construction of the long-term care component is scheduled to begin.

Fall 2019: Long-term care facility is scheduled to be ready to welcome patients.

Source: Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Gerry Byrne

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