Despite provinces ‘being picked off,’ Manitoba not in talks for health funding deal, Pallister says – Manitoba

With the deadline looming for health transfers and other provinces and territories signing separate deals, Premier Brian Pallister says there have been no discussions between Manitoba and Ottawa.

“If there was to be one I would be satisfied that we have at least had one but frankly there has not been one,” Pallister said on CBC’s The House on Saturday.

The province didn’t sign onto the health care accord after federal-provincial negotiations last December.

In January, Saskatchewan and the federal government reached a health-care deal, following separate deals with Nunavut, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

British Columbia signed a deal in February.

Ontario, Quebec and Alberta are the only other provinces left who have not signed on to an agreement.

“Despite the fact that my colleagues are being picked off one at a time with this federal approach, none of them has expressed support for the concepts that are being advanced by the federal government,” Pallister said.

“None of them have said this is a good idea for sustaining health care going forward.”

Despite striking deals with Ottawa, Saskatchewan and the territories added their signatures to a strongly worded statement sent by holdout provinces to the prime minister in January.

“The reality is the health care costs are going to rise, every single study has said so, and we need to have a national dialogue around how we deal with health care support and funding,” Pallister said.

“It should be a partnership, that’s how it was designed in the first place. I haven’t seen evidence that the federal government understands the need for that partnership.”

The federal government initially pledged $11.5 billion to boost targeted spending on home care and mental health. The deal also included a Canada Health Transfer spending increase at 3.5 per cent each year over the next five years — at a value of roughly $20 billion…

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