Libby highlights the Conservatives’ broken health care promises


House of Commons


March 31, 2014

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, today marks the last day of Canada’s health accord and the start of $36 billion in Conservative cuts to Canada’s health care system.

The Health Council of Canada, the only agency tracking government performance on health care, will be shut down today.

There will be less accountability for health spending for veterans, first nations and the commitments in the health accord, so how will slashing accountability and cutting federal investments improve health care for Canadians?

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Health, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear that the current framework for funding is not expiring. It continues on with a 6% escalator till 2017, and after 2017, of course, it’s tied to economic growth with a guarantee of a 3% escalator. That means that the Government of Canada will continue to provide record transfers for health care to the provinces and territories.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Really, Mr. Speaker.? Let us get serious and let us get past the doublespeak.

Eight years in power and Conservatives have failed on every single count. They failed to reduce wait times, failed to live up to their commitments on health care transfers and failed on key commitments from the accord on things like electronic health records, pharmacare, home care, the list goes on and on.

When will the government stop misleading Canadians, stop avoiding accountability and start working with the provinces to build a strong, stable and accessible public health care system in this country?

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Health, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the member that we do work closely with the provinces and territories. In terms of the current federal framework that is in place with the provinces and territories for funding health care, it continues in its current form, which is record levels of funding for transfers to the provinces and territories. After 2017, it is tied to economic growth, which we think is a sustainable formula. It is important for the provinces and territories. I can assure the member that I have been the Minister of Health now for ten months, and not one provincial health minister has asked me to renew the health accord in its current form. What they have asked for is funding predictability, and we have given them that.