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Canada Ford rallying premiers to call for large increase in federal health transfers

11:50  30 november  2019
11:50  30 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Ontario sets up council on provincial-federal relations, headed by Ford

  Ontario sets up council on provincial-federal relations, headed by Ford TORONTO — Ontario is creating a council on provincial-federal relations, headed up by Premier Doug Ford. Ford says the team, including several senior cabinet ministers, will work with federal counterparts on priorities such as infrastructure, health care and economic growth. The government says its priorities will include pushing for increased funding through Canada Health Transfers, removing red tape and attracting international investment to all areas of Ontario.

READ MORE: Atlantic premiers want federal health funding to reflect needs of aging region. The talks come ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with federal The federal Liberals plan to apply a three-per-cent increase in April despite pushback from provinces including B.C., Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba

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a man in a suit and tie sitting in a chair: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford share a laugh after Ford spoke in French during a meeting in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.© Provided by cbc.ca Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford share a laugh after Ford spoke in French during a meeting in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's top priority at Monday's meeting of provincial and territorial leaders is to push the federal government to boost its annual health care transfers to the provinces — and this time, there are signs the Liberals are not ruling it out.

Ford is expected to rally premiers to again call on Ottawa to increase the health care escalator — the annual increase to the health-care transfer — to 5.2 per cent from the current three per cent.

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+ TORONTO – Ontario is proposing a new 10-year federal funding plan that would see Ottawa’s health transfers to the provinces rise by 5.2 per cent a year. Premier Kathleen Wynne called the idea a starting point for discussion

The premiers also asked Ottawa to increase annual health transfers by 5.2 per cent annually, an amount Ontario Premier Doug Ford warned might be A federal advisory council chaired by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins called in June for the creation of a national drug agency, which

"We agreed in Saskatchewan at the COF (Council of the Federation) meeting that we need an increase to 5.2 per cent. I don't think any province in the country can go it alone when it comes to health care and ending hallway health care," Ford said Thursday.

"We are going to need their support. I mentioned it to the PM. He fully understands the situation."

A senior federal government official said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is open to ideas and is looking forward to seeing what comes out of Monday's meeting on health care, which comes ahead of a First Ministers meeting with the PM planned for the New Year.

Canada's 13 provincial and territorial leaders will gather in Toronto tomorrow for a working dinner, followed by an official meeting on Monday.

'I have a pretty thick skin,' says Doug Ford ahead of meeting with Trudeau

  'I have a pretty thick skin,' says Doug Ford ahead of meeting with Trudeau TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he will be bringing a collaborative message to a meeting Friday with Justin Trudeau, despite the frequent attacks the prime minister launched against him during the federal election campaign. The meeting in Ottawa will be the latest in a series of in-person talks Trudeau is having with provincial leaders after receiving a minority mandate last month. "Prime minister, we look forward to working with you,"The meeting in Ottawa will be the latest in a series of in-person talks Trudeau is having with provincial leaders after receiving a minority mandate last month.

The thorny debate over federal health transfers has been dormant in recent years, but appears poised to re-emerge The annual increase in transfers was part of the of last health accord that expired in 2014. Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said the premiers previously called on Ottawa to boost

While many federal employees will be eligible to retire in the next fifteen years, unfortunately some of them will discover they will be unable to retire at the time they intend to because important tasks — that should have been performed during their federal service — were not completed.

Premiers have asked for a more generous health transfer in the past, of course. They made the same request at a meeting of provincial and territorial leaders in Saskatoon last July; the final communique from that meeting said that "federal transfers are not sufficient to support the additional care needs of Canada's aging population."

While the premiers seem to be uncertain about how a national pharmacare program might move forward, they agree on the need to advance discussions. Thursday's throne speech could offer more details.

Newfoundland pitches a pharmacare pilot

After a face-to-face meeting with Trudeau in Ottawa Tuesday, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said his province would be open to being the first province to pilot a national pharmacare program.

"I think this is an opportunity for us as Canadians, and ... if they're looking for a pilot and if they are looking for a province to start ... to run options on pharmacare, certainly in Newfoundland and Labrador we're willing to explore those options with the federal government," Ball said.

The Liberal campaign platform pledged $6 billion over four years in new health spending, which included funding to boost the number of doctors, move toward a pharmacare program and improve mental health services.

Trudeau and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland have been holding one-on-one meetings with the premiers since the October 21 election, when the Liberals returned with a minority government.

The premiers also are expected to discuss climate change, pipelines and ways to heal the regional divisions that were exposed in the recent election.

Premiers' meeting was basically worthless — just the usual chorus of begging for more dough .
By Jackson Doughart The premiers are out to report how successful their meeting went in Toronto — having produced a set of demands to which all agreed, supposedly in a spirit of rolling up their sleeves for the good of the country. Not to pour water on all the excitement, but the common ground the group claims to have found isn’t novel or compelling. It’s perhaps a slight improvement over the normal chorus of begging, in that delegates have produced a communiqué which isn’t a tortured read, including — by my count — two actionable policy requests for the federal government.

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