Canadian Premiers demand meeting with PM Trudeau amid healthcare crisis
by The Canadian Parvasi
All 13 premiers of Canadian provinces and territories demanded a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau regarding health funding amid the ongoing Canadian healthcare crisis in a joint press conference on Friday.
The premiers maintained that the federal government has presented “no meaningful response” and is not aptly paying its fair share of costs amid the growing pressure on the healthcare sector across Canada.
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, the current chair of the Council of the Federation, stated at the conference, “More than two years have passed since premiers publicly outlined our proposal for a new funding partnership, but unfortunately, despite assurances, we have received no meaningful response from the federal government.”
“There have been no federal proposals, no substantive meetings or dialogue and no real progress. We need an urgent first ministers meeting to discuss these critical issues,” she continued.
“We need the leeway in order to be able to do things in our own way with full autonomy…If the federal government were to impose a single vision everywhere, we would not be able to meet the needs of our own provinces and territories,” added Quebec Premier Francois Legault in french.
Stressing the urgency of the meeting, Ontario Premier Doug Ford asserted, “The number one issue in this entire country from coast to coast to coast is healthcare, and we can’t do it alone…Nothing should be more important to the prime minister than meeting with the 13 premiers. That’s the bottom line…It’s not that hard to sit down and have a conversation and hammer out a deal. That’s what we’re asking for.”
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland opined that Canadians are growing increasingly frustrated by the overcrowded emergency departments and family doctor shortages.
“We understand that Canadians are really worried and frustrated and frightened, actually, in many parts of the country about the state of the health-care system, and we know that we need to work together to make it better,” stated Freeland.
“Yes, that does mean some more investment, but it also means a focus on being sure we get the results that Canadians quite rightly expect of us from those investments alone,” the Deputy PM continued.
PM Trudeau, last month, seemed to echo Freeland’s sentiments citing that there was no use giving money to a “broken system.”
“If provinces continue to not reform or not improve their health-care delivery services, it’s no surprise that Canadians are getting more and more frustrated,” the Prime Minister said at an event in New Brunswick last month.
The premiers are advocating for a $28 billion increase to the Canada Health Transfer, bringing the federal share of Healthcare costs from 22 per cent to 35 per cent.