11/14/2012 08:47 EST | Updated 01/14/2013 05:12 EST

Shriners Hospital reveals big plans for new Montreal site

The Shriners Hospital for Children's plans for a new Montreal facility are raising eyebrows because of some of the institution's past connections.

At the announcement Wednesday, officials from the Shriners Hospital couldn't avoid questions surrounding the former head of the McGill University Health Centre. Dr. Arthur Porter helped keep the hospital in Montreal.

Porter is currently being sued by McGill University for failing to reimburse money the institution lent him.

"We have no contact with Dr. Porter at this point. He just happened to be the president of the MUHC at the time when we were negotiating whether we could come here or not," said Jerry Gantt, a member of Shriners' board of directors.

Montreal's Shriners Hospital is the only one in Canada and it will be bigger and offer more services than originally planned. The blueprints for the 200,000 square feet building is nearly double the size and includes six stories and more beds for patients.

"With the growth of the population in this area, we may be right at the edge of capacity, so we put in additional [operation rooms] and patient beds to possible accommodate more in the future," said Douglas Maxwell, chairman of the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Maxwell said the bidding system to determine which construction company will build the hospital will be rigorous because of the uneasiness triggered by testimony at Quebec's corruption inquiry regarding a bid-rigging scheme.

"We always ask for multiple bidders ... and we'll do a value judgment on the bid that they're giving us and the price," said Maxwell.