While not privy to many of the details and caveats contained in the meetings between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders, on what will essentially revolutionize healthcare delivery in Canada, Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Lise Vaugeois says one thing is certain.
“That money needs to be supporting and strengthening our public healthcare system so that every single person has access to quality healthcare, when they need it, where they need it we know that’s not the case now.”
The $196 billion plan, includes $46 billion in new funding to address staffing issues and surgery backlogs.
She fears without stipulations from the federal government on how this new money be spent, should the deal be accepted, it could lead to more privatization.
On Tuesday after the meeting, Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated he wouldn’t turn down new funding.
Vaugeois says it looks like a decent deal, noting in the past the federal government reduced transfer payments for healthcare to the provinces.
“But, at the same time, we also know that the Ford government has billions of dollars that were supposed to go into healthcare and education, and that money has not been spent it has not been allocated.”
According to a report from Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office, the provincial government has $12.5 billion in unallocated funding to work with, noting a $5 billion and a $1.1 billion shortfall in healthcare and education respectively.