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HomeNewsPatients languished in hallways while Port Moody hospital opened doors to a Hollywood production

Patients languished in hallways while Port Moody hospital opened doors to a Hollywood production


Bob Mackin

What if your life depended on Eagle Ridge Hospital?

A Hollywood film production company that set-up in the Port Moody hospital for 10 days was billed less than $20,000. Meanwhile, the emergency ward was overflowing and patients languished in hallways. 

theBreaker obtained a copy of the TCF Vancouver Productions Ltd. contract with Fraser Health Authority, which called for payments of $2,500 per filming day and $1,250 per prep and wrap day.

Scenes for 20th Century Fox’s “The Mountain Between Us” were shot between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9 in two unused wards. The disaster-romance stars Idris Elba as a surgeon and Kate Winslet as a journalist who survive a plane crash. It is scheduled for an October release.

A spreadsheet released under the freedom of information law says Fraser Health received a cheque for $19,787.39 for net fees and a ceiling tile. TCF incurred a $27,333.71 charge, but received an $8,488.58 discount. Shared Services B.C., an arm of the Ministry of Technology and Citizens Services, picked up the miscellaneous fees and film liaison fees.

On Feb. 6, Fraser Health set March 21 as the deadline for disclosure of documents sought by theBreaker. Fraser Health invoked two delays, beyond the May 9 provincial election, before it finally sent the documents on June 8. 

B.C. spent nearly $500 million on tax credits in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Film and TV producers are eligible for a basic production services tax credit of 28%. Unlike California, the B.C. government refuses to tell the public the dollar figures of tax breaks given to individual productions. 

“For every $100 spent by a production company on eligible labour, government subsidies return between $33 and $71 to that company,” according to a May 2, 2016 B.C. government news release.

In January, Global TV reported on a former neuropsychologist who spent 36 hours waiting for treatment in the hallway at Eagle Ridge Hospital, under a plaque recognizing her donations to the hospital 

Two weeks before the election campaign officially kicked off, the BC Liberals announced $22.6 million in taxpayer-funding toward a $27.6 million emergency ward expansion at Eagle Ridge. Construction won’t begin until summer 2018 at the earliest. 

That didn’t help Port Moody-Coquitlam incumbent Linda Reimer get re-elected. Port Moody city councillor Rick Glumac of the NDP won the seat on May 9. 

Fraser Health FOI 1-928 by BobMackin on Scribd