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“You don’t need to take federal money,” Trudeau responds to the provinces

Photo: Jeff McIntosh The Canadian Press Justin Trudeau in Calgary, April 5

Michel Saba – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

3:52 p.m.

  • Canada

Faced with the growing number of provinces that are annoyed by the federal government's intrusions into their areas of jurisdiction, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded Friday to those who “don't want to help” that Ottawa is only offering its help and that nothing forces them to accept it.

“If you don't want to be ambitious in terms of housing, if you don't want to help more children have food in schools, well you don't need to take the federal money and you will be alone in your field of jurisdiction,” he said at a press conference in Calgary, Alberta.

Mr. Trudeau explained that his government's approach is not to meddle in what is none of its business, but rather to send a signal to the provinces “ambitious enough to want to help” that they “do not need to be alone in there.”

According to him, citizens want all levels of government to “work together” to address the issues of cost of living and access to housing to “resolve these problems, provide them with solutions”.

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Agreements with municipalities

Mr. Trudeau, who has been increasing the number of announcements for a little over a week in preparation for the unveiling of the federal budget on April 16, has repeatedly attracted criticism from the provinces who accuse him of not respecting the constitutional pact.

Without directly intervening in provincial areas of jurisdiction, Mr. Trudeau announced that he will distribute billions to those who collaborate on common priorities.

For example, he announced Monday that Ottawa intends to finance a national school feeding program which will aim to provide meals to 400,000 more children per year across the country.

On Tuesday, he put $5 billion on the table to convince the provinces to adopt some of his housing priorities, including the tenants' bill of rights.

Stopping at nothing, Mr. Trudeau went so far as to announce that he will conclude agreements directly with the municipalities if the provincial governments do not sign an agreement by the end of the year, and to point out that the mayor of Toronto, Olivia Chow, allegedly told him to send the money, that she intends to build housing.

However, both education and housing are provincial jurisdictions. In Quebec, the Legault government has tirelessly repeated day after day that it is demanding a “right of withdrawal with full compensation and without any conditions”. The premiers of Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan have sent Ottawa to pasture.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116