Just before Xmas last December the Liberal government offered the provinces a little more than half of what the previous right-wing Harper government had been paying Canadian provinces.
|As mentioned in a previous Digital Journal article, the offer ran for just one day. There was no discussion of alternatives such as the 5.2 percent increase put forth by the premier of Prince Edward Island. Finance Minister Morneau's offer was 3.5 percent over five years. The Conservatives had been paying six percent. The rate will go back to three percent in April unless there is an agreement. The provinces were angry that the Liberal government came with a take-it-or-leave it attitude. They had hoped that there would be discussion and a negotiated agreement. The tactic shows the Liberal government is not willing to negotiate with the provinces but will try to impose policy on them, a policy far less liberal in its funding then that the right-wing Conservatives had been following. Ever since the meeting Ottawa has been trying with considerable success to strike deals with individual provinces.|
"Premiers remain united and determined in seeking a multilateral agreement. Premiers also recognize that provinces and territories face unique local circumstances, which led some of them to sign bilateral health agreements. However, premiers representing 90 per cent of Canada's population continue to seek a fair deal for long-term health funding from the federal government."
"Minister Philpott is committed to working with Saskatchewan to strengthen our publicly funded, universal health-care system, while at the same time upholding the principles of the Act, and has asked officials to work with Saskatchewan officials over the next year in this regard,"Among the ways the Liberals are strengthening the system is by reducing funding and refusing to negotiate funding with the provinces. When a province such as Saskatchewan introduces private for profit services as with the MRIs, it does not punish the province but gives it a year to show that it does not harm the operation of the Canada Health Act. Former Conservative PM Harper who was always criticized by the Liberals provided almost twice as much.