Feb 07, 2023

By Christine Ross

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Canada’s 13 premiers are heading home with the federal government’s nearly $196 billion worth of health-care funding proposals.

It includes $46-billion in new money, prompting this from Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“I always welcome new funding no matter small, large but what we see this as, is a starting point, it’s a down payment on further discussions.”

The federal proposals include an immediate unconditional $2 billion top-up to the annual Canada Health Transfer to address immediate pressures in the health-care system.

In addition, there’s an offer to change to the Transfer formula – increase the 3% escalator to 5% for the next five years – which the provinces and territories would receive through annual top-up payments.

Ottawa is also offering $25 billion over 10-years in bilateral deals, tailored to individual needs of provinces and territories.

As well, the Feds are proposing to spend another $1.7-billion over five-years to support hourly wage hikes for PSWs and related professions.

Premier Ford was asked if there was discussion about whether the new funding must be used for public healthcare, and not in privately delivered services.

“No, that conversation never came up but you know, this is all about certainly for all of us, it’s about sustainability, it’s about building a healthcare system not for five years, not for ten years but decades moving forward, we always welcome new money.”

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