|Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was engaged in discussions with Canada’s premiers today, in a meeting demanded by the premiers to discuss their call for a permanent annual boost of $28 billion to health-care transfers.
Sources told CBC News that Ontario Premier Doug Ford will push the federal government to commit to a funding increase by the spring 2021 budget.
While Trudeau has agreed to a conversation on transfers, federal sources say the prime minister wants to keep the focus on the immediate threat posed by the second wave of the coronavirus — and that no formal commitment to a specific funding boost is likely to come out of the meeting.
The federal government appears to have few supporters in its apparent stance.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said there must be more collaboration between the federal and provincial governments and more federal funding without conditions.
Dr. Ann Collins, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said the first ministers must deal with the acute problems facing the health system as well as the chronic ones. She said the pandemic exposed cracks in what was already an ailing health-care system — plagued by long waits for tests and surgical procedures and gaps in long-term care.