Yesterday, the Saskatchewan Party claimed that the provincial NDP’s plan for 30 additional primary healthcare clinics would cost $840 million. It has since removed this goofy press release from its website, but here’s a screenshot.
The Sask Party multiplied the Saskatoon Community Clinic’s $7-million annual provincial cost by 30, and then multiplied that total by four years ($7 million*30*4= $840 million). Of course, a community clinic is not the same as a primary healthcare clinic. The latter’s annual cost is typically under $1 million.
As reported by CBC, the Health Minister admitted the error but still tried to blame the NDP: “While [Don] McMorris owned-up to his party’s mistake, he said the NDP should have included a statement about the cost of its healthcare promise. He said if they had, he would not have made the mistaken calculation.”
UPDATE (October 14): CTV has a good headline: “McMorris admits $780-million miscalculation.”
But The Leader-Post reports that the Sask Party leader is backpedaling on this acknowledgement: “Consider the nonsense from [Brad] Wall Thursday that Health Minister Don McMorris’s horrific $840-million miscalculation on the costs of NDP primary care clinics was really the NDP’s fault.”