Let’s stop the word games, and the waste

Just a question… Does anyone in the territory buy Highways and Public Works Minister Archie Lang’s assertion the Watson Lake health…

Just a question…

Does anyone in the territory buy Highways and Public Works Minister Archie Lang’s assertion the Watson Lake health centre is not over budget?

A couple of years ago, the government sole-sourced the $5-million construction project.

Today, the project is incomplete.

So far, the government has spent $4.8 million on the half-constructed shell.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Lang in response to questions from Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell.

“We are not over budget on the facility.”

That’s a brassy assertion.

The bungled project in Premier Dennis Fentie’s riding is such a puzzler that the government doesn’t really know how to fix it.

There were two phases to the initial plan.

One, build the new multi-level health centre.

Two, renovate the existing hospital in Watson Lake.

Except, the existing hospital is, according to the government’s own information, “not optimal for delivering modern health-care services.”

And the unfinished $4.8-million health facility — the one now being expanded to a full-blown hospital — lacks many of the structural requirements such a facility needs.

The existing elevator shafts are too small.

The existing layout isn’t meant to be a hospital — the framed-in walls, doorways and rooms aren’t right.

The main floor is so high above street level, it poses a problem for ambulance and public access.

The list goes on. There are at least 12 other major deficiencies in the partially built structure.

And, did we mention it has gone mouldy?

The territory’s politicians budgeted $5 million for the building.

There’s just $200,000 left in the kitty.

Yet Lang insists the health-centre project is not over budget.

“We budgeted $5 million; we’re below that figure today, and we’re looking forward to having a hospital up and running in Watson Lake in the near future.”

It isn’t over budget because the government just keeps expanding the budget.

Now, it has morphed into a hospital. The government’s initial estimate of the cost is $25 million, sans beds, chairs, lamps, tables, gurneys, oxygen tanks, computers, sprinkler systems, sinks, art … all the stuff necessary to run a modern hospital.

Think about it.

This is a colossal expenditure of public money at a time of global fiscal crisis.

And cabinet members can’t even admit the project has gone off the rails.

Instead, they are just tossing good money after bad.

Unfortunately, this has become an all-too-common practice for the Fentie government.

They are not fooling anyone.

It’s time to reassess this hospital fiasco and end the madness before more money is wasted. (Richard Mostyn)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read