The premier of Quebec “trusts” his minister Christian Dubé more than Justin Trudeau to manage health priorities and investments to meet the needs of Quebecers.
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The federal government persists in wanting to decide where the money it transfers to the provinces should be invested, by forcing them to invest it, for example, in mental health or home care, argue Quebec and its partners in the provinces.
However, François Legault maintains that Justin Trudeau and his team are not the best equipped to decide in which programs or for which types of care the sums should be used.
"As for the choice of priorities, well, I trust Christian Dubé more than Justin Trudeau to choose health priorities in Quebec," said François Legault, Tuesday morning, during the Council of the Federation. .
Just today, the premiers of the provinces and territories gathered in Victoria to stress the urgency of concluding a new “long-term” financial pact with the federal government on health care for Canadians.
In the event of a failure of the negotiations, Prime Minister Legault nevertheless ensures that the plan to overhaul the health system initiated by his government is feasible. However, it will be in deficit.
“Quebec has currently taken the necessary steps to rebuild the health care system. We are able to finance it. But, obviously, there is a deficit in Quebec,” said François Legault.
In Quebec, the revival of the health system will benefit from a budget of $5.2 billion over five years, including $1 billion for the famous refoundation plan.
Mr. Legault repeats that there is a “real problem” of “long-term” funding for all the provinces. "All the provinces are not able to assume 78% of health expenditure, which increases by 5% to 6% per year, because of the impact of the aging of the population and new technologies", he said. mentioned.
During the pandemic, the Trudeau government transferred non-recurring amounts to help the provinces deal with the crisis. In March, Ottawa announced investments of $2 billion to reduce wait times for surgeries due to COVID-19. Quebec had received $450 million from the envelope.
These sums are not enough, he says.
“We used that money, among other things, to hire nurses. But, there, if we want to be able, in the long term, to continue to pay these nurses, ”explained the Prime Minister, reiterating the requests of the provinces.
“We need a partner at more than 22%. We are asking for 35%, it is very reasonable.
These sums must be recurring and unconditional, argue the Prime Ministers.
British Columbia Premier and President of the Council of the Federation, John Horgan, has said Ottawa is not a reliable partner. He recalled that health is a provincial jurisdiction and that Ottawa must sit down to negotiate with them, now that the health crisis has faded.
For its part, Ottawa indicates that it is already working on “long-term sustainable” funding with the provinces.
In an interview with CBS, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said the federal government has never ignored provincial premiers when it comes to their health grievances.