Asbestos, Mold, Fire Safety: Government announcements pale in comparison to critical infrastructure

EDMONTON –New Democrat Leader Rachel Notley released documents today, showing the true extent of problems in Edmonton-area hospitals, detailing over $225 million of overdue repairs in the five largest facilities.

“The PCs have neglected our hospitals so long, that the safety of Edmonton-area hospitals hangs in the balance,” Notley said. “Yesterday we released documents showing that postponed surgeries are increasing—today we see that all too often, when people are getting their surgery, it’s happening in a facility that is not only overcrowded, it’s also crumbling. The PCs have neglected pressing infrastructure needs for years, and now too many hospitals are in critical condition.”

Last week, the PCs announced $50 million in funding to renovate emergency rooms in several hospitals. Notley said the NDP’s documents show that the need is far greater than what the PCs have promised. Many urgent projects on the list have been delayed for several years.

Major delayed projects include:

  • Ten fire safety upgrades, including sprinklers, fire alarms and long-awaiting lightning rods
  • Eleven unfunded asbestos abatements at Royal Alexandria Hospital alone
  • Multiple elevator replacements and upgrades, including elevators at Sturgeon Community Hospital in need of upgrades to conform to safety code
  • Mold abatement at Misericordia

“As we grapple with a downturn in oil prices, Albertans are also asking how it is that our hospitals can be in such an appalling state,” Notley said.

“The answer lies squarely at the feet of the PC government and their failure to respond to these problems when they became evident. Albertans deserve better than crowded, crumbling hospitals.”