Quebec and the provinces remind Ottawa not to interfere in health care

A motion adopted Tuesday by the National Assembly of Quebec politely reminds the federal government to mind its own business when it comes to care and health services, while asking it again to increase their funding.

Submitted jointly by the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, and the opposition spokespersons, the motion “recalls the significant imbalance in the financing of the health network”, while insisting on the fact that it is a question of an “exclusive field of jurisdiction of Quebec” for which the province “is entitled to request unconditional compensation for any new federal program”.

Remember that Quebec is the only province that still does not have an agreement in principle with the federal government on improving health transfers. The government of François Legault is still in discussions with Ottawa, but we categorically refuse to accept the imposition of any conditions by the federal government.

Furthermore, the provinces would be worried about seeing Ottawa looking for new ways to encroach on their autonomy in health care. The motion unanimously adopted by the National Assembly refers to a letter co-signed by several Ministers of Health and initiated by Christian Dubé.

The latter recently managed to rally eight of his counterparts to co-sign a letter asking Ottawa to stop interfering in their area of ​​jurisdiction.

The missive sent to federal Minister Mark Holland bears the signatures of the health ministers of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon.

What the provinces criticize Minister Mark Holland for is the expected tabling of a new letter of interpretation of the Canada Health Act which “does not contribute to supporting public health systems, but rather attempts to offer a federal approach removed from reality.”

“This approach does not correspond to provincial and territorial priorities and does not reflect the needs and realities of our residents,” we read in the letter, of which The Canadian Press obtained a copy.

The ministers of the provinces and territories say they need a “federal partner who will financially support the health systems” while respecting the particularities of each.

In other words, they are asking Ottawa to simply finance care and services without getting involved in their organization.

The Canadian Press’ health content receives funding through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The Canadian Press is solely responsible for editorial choices.

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