The opening date for Hawkesbury General Hospital’s expanded emergency facility came and went over the summer. Now, nearly three months after the original completion date of July 2018, there are still construction trucks, cones and people in hardhats walking around the hospital.
According to a recent Globe and Mail article, the HGH expansion project is only one of many delayed and/or cancelled by Bondfield Construction Company Ltd. The article shows that with the new completion date expected to be August 2019, the HGH expansion has the second-longest delay length.
In an emailed statement, Marc LeBoutillier, the hospital’s CEO, said, “We are deeply annoyed by the constant delays by the contractor.”
Through a Labour and Material Payment Bond, which ensures subcontracts are paid for the work and materials provided, and construction thresholds, LeBoutillier said, “Our contract protects the public and community interest and holds the contractor accountable.”
LeBoutillier declined to comment on how the delays affect daily operations at the hospital.
The $125 million expansion project was awarded to Bondfield by Infrastructure Ontario in 2014 through its Alternative Financing and Procurement system. Essentially the province oversees design while the construction is done by private companies. Under the system, these companies are only paid once the project is complete.
While the project was awarded before this term, current Hawkesbury Mayor Jeanne Charlebois said the town had no say in who was awarded the contract. Still today, she says the town doesn’t have much sway. The best she can offer is to tell residents to write to the hospital board and add to the pressure to meet the completion date.