By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 0 Comments
Like the six percent promise, that seems at odds with what the Conservatives promised during the campaign. This from the party’s election platform (emphasis theirs).
Canadians expect and deserve timely access to high-quality health care services. To help achieve that goal, we will work collaboratively with the provinces and territories to renew the Health Accord and to continue reducing wait times.
In our discussions we will emphasize the importance of accountability and results for Canadians – better reporting from the provinces and territories to measure progress, and guarantees covering additional medically necessary procedures.
In the spirit of open federalism, when renewing the Health Accord we will respect the fact that health care is an area of provincial jurisdiction and respect limits on the federal spending power.
Recognizing asymmetrical federalism, we will follow the precedent of a separate agreement with the Government of Quebec regarding the implementation of the renewed Health Accord.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 8:30 AM - 0 Comments
After the Liberals and Conservatives exchanged campaign promises in April, Jim Flaherty was interviewed by Kathleen Petty on CBC radio’s The House. Here is my transcript of the portion of that conversation that dealt with health care transfers and the six percent increase.
Petty. Now let’s talk about health care because Stephen Harper, this week, along with the Liberals and we know the NDP as well, have all agreed to maintain health care transfers to the provinces to six percent as the escalator year-over-year after 2014, which is when the accord expires. But it’s not found in the platform, it’s not found in the budget, except as an assumption in 2015-16 that says that it’s subject to discussion or review, so I’m not quite sure how this is all being costed out.
Flaherty. Well, it is, I can assure you that the six percent increase is built into the fiscal track. That is, we go forward when we budget and make certain assumptions. We have assumed six percent on an ongoing basis for the Canada Health Transfer and we’re committed to that.
Petty. For how many years?
Flaherty. Well, until 2014 and then thereafter. Now, we have to negotiate…
Petty. But what’s thereafter? That’s the part I’m asking.
Flaherty. Thereafter’s at least two years…
Pause. So there’s the caveat to the six percent promise, right? Well, there might’ve been the caveat, except for the fact that the interview wasn’t over and Mr. Flaherty wasn’t done explaining himself. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM - 0 Comments
The Harper government is apparently eager to cap increases to health transfers after 2016 and is apparently willing to argue that their election promise to increase transfers at 6% per year was limited to two years. The Ontario government seems to think that’s not quite what the Conservatives promised.
… Ontario government officials pointed to an interview Mr. Flaherty gave to the CBC during the campaign. “We will keep it at 6 per cent for whatever the duration of the agreement is,” Mr. Flaherty said last April, adding that the length of the new accord will be negotiated with the provinces. “It could be two years, five years, whatever.”
During the election—on Friday, April 8, to be specific—Michael Ignatieff promised to maintain the 6% increase and challenged Stephen Harper’s willingness to do likewise. The Conservatives duly responded. Continue…