OTTAWA – Today New Democrats blasted Stephen Harper’s plan to unilaterally cut federal health transfers and call on the Conservative government to instead work with the provinces to come up with a sustainable solution.
“What the provinces need is a federal partner that’s committed to improving Medicare, not one that leaves the table without paying its fair share,” said New Democrat Health Critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East). “The provinces were clear about the dangers of Mr. Harper’s out-of-touch plan--now Kevin Page is too.”
Yesterday the Parliamentary Budget Officer warned the move would threaten the sustainability of the healthcare system and force provinces to cut vital services that families rely on. Kevin Page’s report detailed how reducing the rate of growth in health transfers would widen the gap between what provinces pay for health care and what they receive from Ottawa in transfers.
“The Conservatives are leaving provinces with the check and Canadians with a system that will grow weaker over time,” added New Democrat Deputy Health Critic, Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois-Salaberry). “Canadians want leadership on healthcare, not the hands-off approach the Conservatives have shown over the years.”
New Democrats will be meeting with many stakeholders this Sunday in Victoria, BC, to talk about the much needed reforms that can still be achieved under the current health accords to ensure healthcare remains sustainable.