Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says his approach to improving Canadian healthcare is based on increasing medical transfers to the provinces – although much of the money promised won’t come after 2024 -25.
Asked at Wednesday’s Francophone leaders’ debate what he would do to better protect seniors who have lost autonomy and need better care, O’Toole said While he promises specific investments for seniors’ homes, his party’s health focus is on providing more funding to the provinces, with no strings attached.
“We will take a clear approach when it comes to Canadian and Quebe Cancer health for our seniors. We will increase the transfer of health in a stable, predictable and unconditional way,” he said.
“It will add about $60 billion. We will work together in our public and universal health care system. “
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However, that $60 billion won’t be immediate. According to a cost plan put forward by the Conservative Party just before the debate, just $3.6 billion will be spent by 2025-26, meaning most funding won’t be delivered until the second half. of the decade and will depend on the Conservative Party re-election.
O’Toole detailed its plan in a post-debate debate, saying it represents a steady increase of 6% over time, so the federal government contribution amount will increase every year.
However, the cost literature shows that under the current formula for Canadian Medical Remittances, based on economic growth, annual payments will increase by nearly six percent over the next two to three years.
Officials say the Conservative plan will ensure it continues in the long term, while the current formula guarantees a minimum increase of just 3% annually.
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Much of Wednesday’s back-and-forth revolves around health care and how to pay for it. Moderator Patrice Roy has pushed politicians to make clear how much money they will give the provinces for healthcare and whether they will deliver an additional $28 billion in annual funding requested by prime ministers or not.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau pledged an additional $25 billion in funding, but “not unconditionally,” while O’Toole reiterated plans to promote medical transfers “without conditions because it is matters of respect” – a word he has used many times when referring to Quebec.
“I trust the government of Quebec. Why does Mr. Trudeau always interfere in provincial jurisdiction? ‘ O’Toole asked.
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Trudeau countered that the Tory leader “did not stand up against a two-tier system.”
Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet reiterated the $28 billion request, arguing that other parties, “claim that the federal government knows more about it than the provincial governments.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he was open to the idea and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul stressed the need for “fundamental reform” of Canada’s healthcare.
– with files from the Canadian Press
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