Ontario, Quebec call on federal government to provide more funding for provincial healthcare

Sep 9 2020, 10:43 am

Ontario and Quebec are calling on the federal government to provide more funding to provincial healthcare “to remedy longstanding underinvestment.”

On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford and Premier Francois Legault provided an update on their inaugural two-day Quebec-Ontario Summit.

Both premiers said that the federal government needs “to remedy longstanding underinvestment in provincial healthcare” by committing to a long-term funding partnership with the provinces and territories for healthcare through a significant increase of the Canada Health Transfer (CHT).

According to the Ontario government, the premiers and ministers of the two governments agreed to work together “to grow and strengthen the economy” as it gradually reopens.

The provinces also agreed to press the federal government “for fair, flexible, sustainable funding” for other key priorities that support economic recovery, including infrastructure and transit.

The two parties also agreed to collaborate on combatting US protectionism, removing trade barriers, and promoting Ontario-made and Québec-made products to help protect and create more jobs for Ontarians and Quebeckers.

“This summit offered a historic opportunity to strengthen our regional partnership with Québec and ensure we can deliver a strong and resilient recovery for the people and businesses of our two provinces,” said Ford.

“I’m looking forward to working with Premier Legault to bring all of our provincial partners together to fight for the priorities that matter most to all Canadians, including ensuring the federal government is a full partner when it comes to adequate and sustainable funding for health care particularly during these extraordinary times.”

The province also noted that the governments will work together to develop shared principles on a responsible reopening of the Canada-US border and ensure Ottawa has a clear plan before any restrictions are relaxed.

“Québec and Ontario have shown resilience and leadership over the past months. As we aim for an ambitious recovery, we must join our efforts to support economic development, our businesses and job creation,” said Legault.

“Together, we have a stronger voice and will work to ensure our shared priorities are heard by the federal government, including addressing the underlying imbalance in our healthcare funding arrangement through the CHT.”

According to Ontario’s government, Ontario and Québec have a combined population of 23 million and together are responsible for $1.3 trillion, or more than 58% of Canada’s total GDP, and 53.8% of interprovincial exports.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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