“Disappointed” by the federal health offer, the provinces want to work together

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””Disappointed” by the federal health care offer, the provinces want to get together

Premiers of the provinces and territories at a press conference in Ottawa

Premiers of the provinces and territories expressed their “disappointment” on Tuesday afternoon without dismissing the Federal Health Offer, which provides $46.6 billion in new funding over 10 years. A further meeting is scheduled “in the next few days”.

In a press conference after the meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, the President of the Council of the Federation, Heather Stefanson, was quick to express the disappointment of the provinces.

< p class="e-p">Of course it's more money than there was yesterday, but I think [it's] a little disappointing when it comes to new money , summarized the Premier of Manitoba during a press briefing.

Ms. Stefanson explained that all heads of government will return to their respective province or territory to study the offer properly and to understand what it means.

In in the coming days, we will discuss this offer together and then we will react and make our comments to the Prime Minister [Justin Trudeau], she said.

At his side, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, also showed disappointment, he who has led the charge in the public space for two years regarding the need to better finance the systems of provincial health, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, and to respect provincial jurisdictions.

Quebec Premier François Legault is surrounded by his counterparts from the other provinces and territories during a press conference in Ottawa.

The catch-up that we was asking is not there. As for the total amount, it is clearly insufficient, he decided.

However, he highlighted some positive points and affirmed that the negotiations are moving forward. The good news is that there are no strings attached. […] Even if we are asked to share data, there are no requirements for results: we are accountable to our own citizens, he said.

It's better to have a small amount than to have nothing, finally conceded Mr. Legault while stressing that other negotiations will be expected over the next few years, the offer Ottawa's current situation is not sustainable over the long term.

Mr. Legault and the other 12 provincial and territorial premiers were calling for an increase in the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) of $28 billion in the first year, followed by an annual increase in the CHT of 5% .

Senior officials explained at a media briefing that the $46.2 billion in Ottawa's plan is new money that will be spent. would add to already planned increases in the CHT. The roadmap suggested by the federal government also provides additional funding of $25 billion over 10 years for the provinces that will conclude bilateral agreements with Ottawa.

From this envelope, Quebec will obtain 8 .99 billion if the proposed agreement is approved, said a senior official, basing her calculation on the documents detailing the federal offer.

In their 2022-2023 budgets, the provinces plan to spend $203.7 billion on health care. The transfer from Ottawa is 22% of that amount, but the provinces want that percentage to increase to 35%, or $28 billion more this year alone.

For the first Ontario Minister Doug Ford says the federal government's offer is a starting point for further discussions. We see it as a glass half full, he said.

Same reflection on the side of Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia, who affirms that the needs are growing: Of course we want more funding. We recognize that the federal government is offering new money, but we will continue to insist on having more.

On the side of Prince Edward Island, the first Minister Dennis King underscored the importance of this new funding. It is still a substantial sum, he acknowledged. But we don't just need money: we need innovation in the healthcare system. […] Money alone will not be enough to solve this crisis.

With information from La Presse canadienne