Manitoba Government paying millions to make up for hospital shortfall

Winnipeg is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. And with a growing population comes a growing need for health care facilities, with time finally running out for building new ones.

Cabinet ministers in the Liberal government were not aware of the budget crisis the public system faces in Manitoba, according to a bombshell report issued by Manitoba Justice.

Just a few days ago, Winnipeg revealed a nearly $124 million shortfall in 2017-18 – nearly double the shortfall in 2016-17.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Health Region facing $124 million shortfall for 2017-18 budget

More than $6 million has been set aside in the 2017-18 budget to build a new hospital in Brandon, but that won’t happen for two more years, because there is no money to begin construction in 2020.

The crisis is likely only just beginning. Winnipeg Health Region is taking two more years to start construction of the new Sir Charles Tupper Hospital, which will also cost nearly three times more than originally planned.

READ MORE: WRR enters bankruptcy after having to release $125M in debt

The new hospital will cost close to $300 million to build – and it won’t be completed until 2021.

Winnipeg’s Health Minister, Cameron Friesen, apologized and blamed hospital board members for not preparing taxpayers for a massive shortfall that is upon them.

READ MORE: Bailiff granted control of Winnipeg Health Region

Friesen told Radio-Canada he would “offer his own apology.”

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