Libby questions the Conservative govenment’s commitment to funding health care

House of Commons
December 13, 2011

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Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the government is keen on slashing increases to health transfers by half.

Just as the 2014 negotiations begin, the message to the provinces is clear: do not expect a willing partner in Ottawa.

The Prime Minister promised not to touch health care transfers, but that is just what he is doing.

Why is the government putting health care services on the chopping block? Why is it breaking its promise and turning its back on the provinces?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to a publicly funded and universally accessible health care system. We want to see a strong, sustainable Canadian health care system that works for people when they need it. Our government has increased funding to the provinces and territories for health care to a record level, from $19 billion when we formed government to $27 billion this year. We will continue to increase funding for health care in a way that is balanced and sustainable.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, it is Ottawa’s job to show leadership and accountability. It has yet to follow through on the 2004 accord.

Now the government wants to tie health care funding to the GDP, so in a good year Canadians can get the health care they need but in future years they are out of luck.

The government is making this stuff up as it goes along. Why will it not commit to adequate, stable health transfers on which provinces and Canadians can rely?