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Billionaire businessman Jim Pattison gives $75-million to new Vancouver hospital

Jim Pattison speaks to the media after making an announcement about a record Canadian philanthropic gift of $75-million to build the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, which is home to the new St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 28, 2017.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

The campaign to build a new hospital in Vancouver got a $75-million boost on Tuesday from billionaire businessman Jim Pattison.

The chairman and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group made the donation to the St. Paul's Foundation, which called it the largest ever in Canada by a private citizen to a medical facility.

The campaign is raising $1.2-billion to replace the downtown St. Paul's Hospital.

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The new hospital is slated to be built on 7.5 hectares of land three kilometres from downtown on the False Creek Flats, with an estimated completion date of 2024.

The new hospital will provide emergency and critical care, along with specialized surgical services.

Dick Vollet, president and CEO of the St. Paul's Foundation, said the donation helps realize goals set for the new hospital.

"Jim Pattison's gift will help us realize an exceptionally rare opportunity to build a major medical and research centre from the ground up, that will establish its place among the most highly regarded and recognized medical centres in North America," he said in a news release.

The new St. Paul's Hospital will be part of the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, described by the foundation as a fully integrated health campus providing patient services and performing medical research.

Pattison is known for donating millions over the years to different causes ranging from health care to educational and community organizations.

He was chairman of Expo 86 in Vancouver, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987.

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Pattison, 88, built his company from a single GM franchise that he purchased in 1961.

Jim Pattison Group is a holding company with interests in the automotive, advertising, media, agricultural equipment, food and beverage, entertainment, export, financial and real estate industries. Its website says it employs about 42,000 workers and had annual sales last year of $9.6-billion.

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