Corruption investigation creates 'turbulence' for superhospital

MUHC CEO Normand Rinfret faced questions about the ongoing investigation by anti-corruption investigators last night as the hospital centre held its annual public meeting.

Public calls for more transparency at annual meeting

Corruption investigations into the MUHC steal the spotlight from its new superhospital 2:13

The head of the McGill University Health Centre confirms he has met with anti-corruption investigators.

Normand Rinfret faced questions about ongoing investigations as the MUHC held its annual public meeting last night.

MUHC CEO Normand Rinfret faced questions about ongoing anti-corruption investigations as the organization held its annual meeting last night. (CBC)

He confirmed investigators from the province's anti-corruption unit (UPAC) and Operation Hammer have met with officials from the MUHC on a number of occasions. Rinfret said he had personally met with investigators from UPAC once and is co-operating with authorities.

Ongoing media scrutiny surrounding the investigations have taken a toll on the MUHC as it attempts to garner public support for the ongoing construction of the new superhospital, according to Rinfret.

"It creates a turbulence, which creates a little bit of an uncomfort level," he said.

Rinfret said the community should try to remain positive about the project. At last night's meeting, he tried to focus attention on the future of MUHC, rather than its past.

"We've got a golden opportunity here which is to build a new hospital."

For Rinfret, the new hospital is an opportunity of a lifetime.

At the meeting, members of the public asked for more transparency.

Reports came to light in September that Quebec's anti-corruption squad was investigating the former human resources director of MUHC for allegedly defrauding the facility out of $1.6 million.

In a separate case, McGill University confirmed last month that it was suing its former CEO Arthur Porter for more than $300,000 in funds that were allegedly were lent to him as well as salary that was mistakenly paid out to him.

Rinfret succeeded Porter, who who resigned from his position last year.

Rinfret wasn't willing to comment on Porter's case.

"It is not for me, as the existing CEO, to pass a judgment on the past CEO," he said.

As for the superhospital project, Rinfret said that plans are on schedule and that doors will be open by 2015.