The current election campaign must be an opportunity to get the leaders of the various federal parties to commit to guaranteeing the provinces a substantial increase in health transfers if they take power, according to the Prime Minister Francois Legault.
At a press conference on another subject in Chibougamau, Monday morning, Prime Minister Legault commented on the start of the federal election campaign the day before and listed the main demands of Quebec related to the September 20 poll.
Its priority remains the substantial increase requested in transfers paid by Ottawa to the provinces to finance the health network.
Over the past year, Mr. Legault has led a veritable crusade, both with his provincial counterparts and during his discussions with the Prime Minister. Justin trudeau, to force Ottawa to revise upwards, on a recurring, substantial and unconditional basis, the federal government’s contribution to health financing, which is under provincial jurisdiction.
Quebec, supported by the other provinces, demands from Ottawa that the annual federal contribution goes from 22 to 35% of the cost of health care across the country. “It would just be logical,” he said.
For Ottawa, the difference would be enormous, that is, $ 28 billion more to be disbursed each year in favor of the provinces. For Quebec, this would mean an additional $ 6 billion annually in the coffers, a very welcome injection of funds when we know that the health network bill is increasing by 5 to 6% per year.
In the past, the federal government has funded up to 50% of provincial health care spending, a contribution that has gradually dwindled to 22%.
To date, Prime Minister Trudeau has not closed the door at the request of the provinces, but has made no commitments other than to continue the discussion.
Another subject of friction between Quebec and Ottawa will be the desire expressed by Mr. Trudeau to set national standards for the accommodation of the elderly.
Time and time again, Mr. Legault insisted that this was also a provincial jurisdiction, so that Ottawa’s money was welcome, but not its standards or its conditions.
Quebec does not want “any conditions either to come and tell us how to manage CHSLDs.” I think we are able to manage the situation well in the health network, ”he reaffirmed Monday.
During the first wave of the pandemic, Quebec had been criticized for its management of CHSLDs, having had to call the Canadian army for reinforcements, in particular because of the lack of personnel and the out of control outbreaks that killed several thousand among them. vulnerable elderly people living in long-term care homes.
Later, during the campaign, Mr. Legault promises to establish a list of other “specific demands” to the various party leaders, in particular in matters ofimmigration.
In Quebec, the rules for integrating immigrants must be different, to protect the French language, he argued.
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