Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to hold a virtual first ministers meeting on federal health
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to hold a virtual first ministers meeting on federal health care transfers to the provinces and territories.
His agreement during a conference call with premiers Thursday came one day after Quebec's Francois Legault and Ontario's Doug Ford issued a joint call for a significant increase in the funding Ottawa sends them to help cover mushrooming health care costs.
The federal government has already committed to transferring $19 billion to the provinces to help them cope with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, including some $10 billion for health-related expenses.
But Legault and Ford pointed out that money is a one-time transfer and argued that what the provinces need is sustainable, long-term funding to cover the ballooning costs of new technologies, drugs and an aging population, as well as ongoing pandemic-related costs.
They did not put a price tag on their demand but said a significant increase to the annual transfer is needed.
The federal government will transfer almost $42 billion to provinces and territories for health care in the current fiscal year under an arrangement that sees the transfer increase by at least three per cent each year.