NEWS

New MUHC superhospital charging rent to non-profit gift shops

06/11/2015 05:20 EDT | Updated 06/11/2016 05:59 EDT
Fundraisers who were hoping to move their gift shops and snack bars from the Royal Victoria and Montreal Children's hospitals to the new superhospital are upset that the move will cost them $60,000 a year.

That's how much in rent the volunteer-run shops would have to pay at the new MUHC, located at the Glen site in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood.

"It doesn't make sense to try and fundraise and then put into rent," said Lesley Reford, president of The Friends of the MUHC.

She said non-profit groups were running gift shops and snack bars at the Royal Victoria and Montreal Children's hospitals rent-free for years.

"We would really much prefer to put into something good for the hospital to make it a happy and comfortable place," Reford said.

A spokesperson with the MUHC said that's the price of using a public-private partnership to build the new centre.

People who use the hospital found the news upsetting.

"It's a medical centre, not a business centre. They should keep that in mind," said patient Karl Bauer.

"It's shameful. I'm a mother — my child is here at the Children's — and it's really difficult. I really believe that it should be free," said Eve Elkouby.

The consortium that helped build the hospital — which includes SNC Lavalin — considers rentable space as a way to recover its costs.

Reford says her group is brainstorming new ideas and will try to find space somewhere on the site. If not, she said the group may have to do more online fundraising.

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