Canada’s Premiers are asking the Federal Government for more money for healthcare.
The call comes following the Council of the Federation Winter Meetings, which BC Premier John Horgan chaired.
“We need to work on a pathway to come together on a First Minister’s meeting to increase the Canada Health transfer,” Horgan said.
“That has been the focus of the Premiers for over two years now, and it’s an urgent need.”
Horgan says when the healthcare transfer began, it was a 50-50 spilt between the Federal Governments and Provinces, but has slipped to 22% from Ottawa. He added the Premiers have been focusing on seeing the increase go up to 35% percent from Ottawa.
“What we’re responsible for is delivering the services,” Horgan said.
“The Federal Government has a role to play and what those standards would be, but the needs in New Brunswick are not the same as the needs in Saskatchewan. Our concern about tying strings to funding is that it will be focused on what might be the issue of the day, rather than the long-term sustainability of our system.”
Horgan said he’s been engaging with Federal Government officials, including the Prime Minister, to get together and address the issue.
“This isn’t an accounting issue, it’s not about us saying ‘give us more,’” Horgan said.
“It’s about ‘how do we deliver the services that the Federal Government knows Canadians need, that our provincial leaders all know our citizens need, in a way that they can restore confidence in a system that is straining at the edges.’”