Hungry for health transfers
VICTORIA | Now that the worst of the health crisis is behind us, Prime Minister François Legault believes that Ottawa must negotiate the increase in health transfers.
François Legault arrived yesterday in Victoria, British Columbia to participate in the Council of the Federation which takes place at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and which brings together the premiers of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada.
Unsurprisingly, the priority for Quebec will be an increase in federal health transfers.
The provinces are demanding that Ottawa increase its health transfers from 22% to “at least 35%”.
“The big theme we are going to discuss is going to be health. Unconditional health transfers,” said François Legault in a short statement, along with Doug Ford.
« When Ontario and Quebec stand together, we will go far, » he added.
Mr. Ford also mentioned that the two prime ministers had a strong relationship.
« Justin Trudeau must sit down and negotiate with the premiers, » said Quebec Premier Ewan Sauves’ press secretary earlier.
For Canada as a whole, this is an increase of $28 billion, demanded unconditionally and on a recurring basis.
“The pandemic has put unsustainable pressure on our healthcare systems. We’re doing our best, but our healthcare workers are exhausted. The common front of premiers, initiated by Mr. Legault when he acted as President of the Council of the Federation, is solid and more united than ever,” mentioned Mr. Legault’s cabinet.
Arrived yesterday afternoon in Victoria, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to speak with his Ontario counterpart, Doug Ford.
The Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie and President of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, is accompanying the Prime Minister during this trip to Western Canada.
Battle to predict?
Last March, the federal government and its Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced investments of $2 billion to reduce waiting times for surgeries due to COVID-19. Quebec had received $450 million from the envelope.
The sums were intended to “repair the damage caused by the pandemic”, declared the federal minister.
Quebec Minister Sonia LeBel reacted by indicating that it was “a first temporary step” by Ottawa in the financing of health care.
“Our demand remains a recurring and unconditional increase in Canadian health transfers,” she also said.
Ms. LeBel recalled that this is a requirement expressed by all provincial premiers and by the National Assembly. “Quebec has the expertise to take care of its health network. »
The rise in inflation and the cost of living will be an unavoidable subject during these two days of meetings.
« This is a priority for all governments in Canada and for Mr. Legault’s, » said Ewan Sauves.
This morning, Premiers will meet with National Indigenous Leaders. They will then address the press.
This year, BC Premier John Horgan is chairing the council.
The leader of the province’s New Democratic Party recently announced that he will step down this fall.
The 63-year-old was diagnosed with throat cancer last November.
– With the collaboration of QMI Agency