O’Toole promises to increase health transfers — but bulk of money won’t come for years

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Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says her approach to reforming Canadian health care hinges on increasing health transfer across provinces – although the bulk of the promised funding will not arrive until after 2024-25.

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Asked at a debate by French-language leaders on Wednesday about what they would do to better protect senior citizens who have lost their autonomy and need better care, O’Toole said he would like to visit senior citizens’ homes when While promising specific investments, his party is focusing on health. Care was to provide more money to the provinces, with no strings attached.

“We will have a clear vision when it comes to the health of Canadians and Quebecer seniors. We will enhance health transfers in a stable, predictable and unconditional manner,” he said.

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“It’s going to add up to about $60 billion. We’re going to be working together on our public and universal health care system.”

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However, this $60 billion will not be instantaneous. According to a cost plan released by the Conservatives just before the debate, only $3.6 billion will be spent by 2025-26, meaning the bulk of the money won’t be transferred until the latter half of the decade and will rely on a conservative. re-election.

O’Toole elaborated on his plan during a scandal after debate, saying it represented a steady six percent increase over time, so the dollar amount of federal government contributions would increase each year.

However, the cost document shows that under the current formula for Canada Health Transfer, which is based on economic growth, annual payments for the next two to three years would already increase by about six percent.

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Officials said the Conservative plan will guarantee that it will continue for a long time, while the current formula guarantees a minimum annual growth of three per cent.

Much of Wednesday’s back-and-forth revolved around health care and how it was paid for. Moderator Patrice Roy prompted politicians to specify how much money they would give to provinces for health care, and whether they would hand over an additional $28 billion in annual funding requested by the premier.

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Liberal leader Justin Trudeau promised an additional $25 billion, but “not unconditionally”, while O’Toole reiterated his plan to promote health transfers “without conditions because it is an honor” – a term he Used repeatedly when referring to Quebec.

“I trust the government of Quebec. Why does Mr. Trudeau always interfere in provincial jurisdictions?” O’Toole asked.

Trudeau said Tory leaders “do not stand against the two-tier system.”

Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchett reiterated the $28 billion demand, arguing that other parties, “claim that the federal government knows more about it than the provincial governments.”

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said he was open to the idea and Green Party leader Annie Paul underscored the need for a “fundamental reform” of Canada’s health care.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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