(Quebec) After stating that the expansion of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital will be carried out “in stages”, Minister Christian Dubé dismisses this controversial scenario to proceed in a single phase. Quebec could therefore revise its budget envelope upwards.

After review, Minister Christian Dubé revealed on Tuesday that he will give the green light within a few weeks to the expected expansion of 720 beds in a single phase. “I have a very clear philosophy when I want to make a decision of this importance. I always want to have two scenarios”, explained the Minister of Health during the study of the budgetary appropriations.

“I don’t just want a script and convince myself it’s the right choice. And that’s maybe what worried people, it’s that we looked at two scenarios [including that of a phased renovation] ”, admitted the minister who was questioned by the member for Quebec solidaire, Vincent Marissal.

The latter reminded him that Mr. Dubé promised in March an announcement within “a month or two” on the expansion of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.

“The commitment of a response in the month of May for a 720-bed hospital, we will be there,” said Mr. Dubé on Tuesday. And “in a single phase,” he served as a complement to the response, which the MP for Rosemont quickly called “very good news” for the citizens of Montreal’s east end.

Minister Christian Dubé did not venture on the question of the costs of the project, which have exploded since the government’s first announcement in August 2021. Quebec had reserved an envelope of 2.5 billion. However, the expansion project was more like 4.2 billion, according to a financial analysis by the Société québécoise d’infrastructures made public in the summer of 2022. The budget will be unveiled during the announcement.

La Presse had revealed in January that the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal was evaluating a much less ambitious expansion scenario, which would include the renovation of the most dilapidated building, the cruciform, to respect the budget envelope of 2.5 billion.

In the wake of these revelations, Minister Christian Dubé had for the first time affirmed that the expansion project would be done “in phases”, which caused controversy. Worried, Mayor Valérie Plante even took up her pen to ask the Legault government to publicly present “a clear proposal” for its “phasing” expansion plan.

Proceeding “in stages” forced the establishment to present a smaller project and to maintain rooms in the cruciform, an option that was wanted to be avoided due to the poor state of the building.