For the first time since the federal election, Canada’s premiers had a chance to sit down with one another Monday in Toronto to talk about a variety of things at their Council of the Federation meeting which was chaired by Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.
The premiers issued a communique at the end of the get-together asking for health transfers from Ottawa to rise by 5.2 percent a year which is almost double the current rate of 3 percent They added any pharmacare plan should be developed in partnership with them and have an opt-out
According to a joint statement issued after their meeting, the premiers are asking Ottawa for health transfers from the federal government to rise by 5.2 per cent a year, faster than the current rate of 3 per cent. The premiers also said that any proposed national pharmacare plan “must be developed in partnership with provinces and territories,” and must have an opt-out for provinces.
Meanwhile, the provinces also agreed the country’s fiscal stabilization program must be changed. That program provides cash to provinces facing economic hardship with Moe saying the changes need to better address the current inequities that exist.
“Showing that they understand the adversity Albertans are going through and focus on other parts of the country like Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador was s a tremendous moment of solidarity and on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, I am appreciative of the efforts being made here today.”
Ontario’s Doug Ford also chimed in saying that while each province has their differences at the end of the day they are united and that those who are struggling will be supported by others who have their back.
The group now hopes to carry their message to the Prime Minister sometime next month when a scheduled First Ministers is planned in which Trudeau will join the provincial leaders.