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October 28, 2017 4:55 am

Zimmer Challenges So-Called Health Transfer Cuts

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 @ 9:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Bob Zimmer has challenged what unions across Canada argue are $36 billion in federal health care cuts the next 10 years.

The Prince George-Peace River Conservative MP argues his government “continues to increase health care transfers, with record funding reaching $40 billion annually by the year 2020.”  Headshot of Bob Zimmer MP

He also points out that in 2015-16, B.C. will receive “over $4.4 billion through the Canada Health Transfer,” which he says “is $1.6 billion more than was provided to the province under the previous Liberal federal government.”

Zimmer does concede however, that the federal government has altered its funding formula.

“Pouring money into a system at a rate that exceeds the capacity of the economy to pay for it is simply not sustainable,” he says. “That is why were are moving towards a long-term sustainable and predictable funding arrangement. Health transfers will grow in line with the average GDP growth, with a guaranteed increase of at least 3% annually.”

Zimmer says his government has gone even further by introducing tax credits for caregivers, medical expenses, disabilities and more.

“We have also invested more than $43 million to support palliative care research since taking office and committed $6 million to support initiatives to broaden the range of care settings and training for providers of palliative care.”

All of this after unions organized rallies across Canada including Prince George, to mark the one year anniversary of the expiration of the Canadian Health Accord,last week.


And the minion speaks yet says nothing.

why is he so proud of 43 million on research for palliative care, why not just provide palliative care….so many need it.

Exactly, have him stay in an old folks home for a week.. Or get him to explain why we treat criminals in jail better than our seniors.

Perhaps those people in the old folks home should have done something during their working life to prepare for a comfortable retirement…like setting some money aside.

Depending only on what CPP and OAP provide more or less assure they will be essentially white haired welfare recipients if they require the slightest bit of support or medications.


Most of the seniors in extended care are there because they need special care.
My Dad waited months to get a bed in one and it was in a four bed room and it was mores months before he moved in to a private room.

AT first the care was great then an American for profit company bought the facility and the care deteriorated with them firing the staff and contracting most of the services out to contractors. It even began to smell like an outhouse on a hot July day. They were even rationing the nappies for the folks that had to use them.

My dad had a comfortable retirement fund but not enough to hire personal aides/nurses for his 24 hour care. The more you earn in a year the more they charge you for an extended care space.

“Pouring money into a system at a rate that exceeds the capacity of the economy to pay for it is simply not sustainable”


Our economy can pay for allot of things, it ultimately comes down to spending decisions on the part of the government. Money spent on “Program A” cannot be spent on “Program B”. For example, the expanded military operation in Syria has a pegged cost of over half a billion dollars. That’s money that can’t be used for health care, purely because of a government spending decision. It’s completely within their control to make a different decision if they wanted to and that’s their right as government. But let’s not pretend that we can’t afford to increase health care spending. We can. It would just require different decisions to be made.

I suspect that we are all in for far more “bad” news over the next few decades.

The bad news will stem from our shocking realization that we have not taken sufficient steps to keep ourselves in the best physical and mental state possible.

For the most part, the generation that is currently enjoying(?) retirement has taken better care of themselves than we do. They worked harder and suffered less obesity, less heart disease, less diabetes and other health conditions than their sons and daughters.

Our healthcare system struggles to provide adequate care for them, our mothers and our fathers, perhaps our older or oldest siblings. Just wait until we hit the system full force!

We are the sons and daughters, or perhaps the youngest siblings! We as a generation are fatter, lazier and in poorer health! We are going to be putting more and more demands on our healthcare system, demands that NO government will be able to meet! I repeat, NO government!

If you think things are bad now, well in my opinion, we ain’t seen nothing yet! If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem!

Call me in 20 years and tell me that I was wrong!!

Tied to average gdp ? Genius ! With Canada’s economy driven into the dust by this all oil/gas imputus by you would be economists, there should be nothing for health care or anything else . what have you brought to the riding ? As promised , have you widened highway 2 ? Have you four lane the Alaska highway ? What have you done for the riding ? Show us the money . ITS ABOUT THE ECONOMY STUPID .

It just slays me every time I hear one of these back benchers comparing themselves too the ” previous ” liberal government . Nine years of stupidity . You guys own the mess . Man up for once .

Well said Ataloss.

Face it: the Conservatives are ideologically opposed to anything that is socialized, which includes health and education. And it is exactly as NMG says, it’s a choice between bombs and beds. The Harper government has stepped into the world’s biggest, stinking pile with both feet and is spending money that would do far more good in Canadian health care on an unwinnable war being fought for powers that don’t give a rat’s ass about Canadians.

“The Harper government has stepped into the world’s biggest, stinking pile with both feet and is spending money that would do far more good in Canadian health care on an unwinnable war being fought for powers that don’t give a rat’s ass about Canadians.”

Estimated (admitted to) cost about 350 million annually, realistically probably closer to one half billion per year. The venture is very expensive because the mess is happening on the opposite side of this tortured planet and with no end in sight.

Well said krusty.

The whining dippers are out in full force. Win an election and effect change. “L”

You are confusing roaring with whining . Canadians might just be clueing in to just how incompident the reformers really are . Time to take the gloves off . Have you had enough canada ?

Zimmer actually isn’t wrong. It’s a problem of compounding.

GDP 3%, I believe means the the government expects tax revenue to grow by 3%. Currently about 250 billion. Health care transfer is 40 billion, and seems everyone wants it to continue to grow by 6%.

Here’s what happens.

10 years – revenue is 335.98, healthcare transfer is 72.1, % of budget 21%
20 years – revenue is 451.52, healthcare transfer is 128.28, % of budget 28%
30 years – revenue is 606.82, healthcare transfer is 229.74, % of budget 38%
40 years – revenue is 815.51, healthcare transfer is 41143, % of budget 50%
50 years – revenue is 1095.97, healthcare transfer is 736.81, % of budget 67%
60 years – revenue is 1472.90, healthcare transfer is 1319.51, % of budget 89%
64 years – revenue is 1658.76, healthcare transfer is 1665.84, % of budget 104%

You can’t have an expense item grow at a faster rate than your revenue item, with out it over time, bankrupting you. Even if you cut all other spending to zero, this would still happen. It’s like borrowing from the bank at 4% and investing at 3%, the debt will always outgrow the investment.

40 years should be 411.43 billion health care transfer.

Albatross, people last, or whatever moniker you have dredged up after acting unsocial and getting booted, you can lecture nobody on anything. Try to understand that we are all adults and not lemmings. When you can’t sway somebody to your view point, it is because you are only used to preaching to the choir.
The NDP will never win anything if conservative voters (which includes half of the NDP constituency that they have harvested from local mosques and temples), is forced to endure the condescending remarks from unemployed arts degree holders, and union hall yes men/women.
I will vote Conservative just to spite the lot of you holier than thou wine and cheese socialists.

GDP is the total value of products and services produced within a country, it is not the same thing as tax revenues. The two may or may not grow at the same rate. It would depend on which sectors of the economy the growth is occurring in, the tax policies that are in place at a particular time, etc, etc, etc.

It’s a very complex relationship.

ataloss, simple solution….elect either a Green or an NDP Government!

Problem solved, right??

NMG – yes, and government revenues are tied to growth in GDP – in theory. So if GDP doesn’t grow, government has to either tax away a larger part of the economy for it’s spending decisions, or reduce it’s spending decisions. I did like your comment though about spending decisions, and I think few truly appreciate the dynamic of choices. It seems most of us see all choices as able to be fully funded. I guarantee you right now, there’s a group of people in Toronto who are Syrian refugees who think spending half a billion fighting ISIS is money well spent, and should be double that. For every Canadian, there’s a whole set of spending choices, and that’s why none of us are ever happy, no matter who is in power. I’m with Hart Guy. 20 years from now, it’s going to be very interesting, as the shrinking work force is faced with supplying all the demands of the retired workforce. I think you could almost see an inter-generational war of some sort break out. Me, I’m pretty much resigned to working until I die of old age, or until someone kills me on Chief Lake Rd – whichever comes first.

Your pension is worth squat if there is no group of people working and generating economic value, because whatever your pension invested in, won’t be worth anything either.

I don’t really care what stripe the fed gov has . What I care about is the future of our country and the rule of law . I want my country to respect the rule of law for all . I would like us to be good partners in the family of nations . We are all in this together . Jimmy you must be uber rich ( the base ) like the hart guy ,voting in your own self interests . I admire that . Glad to hear that you are not just another ideologically driven useful idiot .

atalos…….head to Quebec and join the idiot protesters then. Maybe you have. Was that you who took the tear gas canister to the brain pan?

Sparrow your ignorance of the situation in old folks home care, the care receive and the food they are forced to eat is astounding.

Are you uber rich too Dow ? With a avatar like Dow 7501 you must be . I’d hate to think useful idiots out number canadian nationalists . No I haven’t been to quebec this year yet .

PVal sparrow is only about twelve years old +~ . So the confusion between OAS and what ever osp is can be forgiven . The trouble with the young is they think they will never get old . Getting old ain’t for sissies .

I agree ski51, it certainly will be interesting 20 years from now. That said, there should be such a shortage of people in the workforce, that perhaps we’ll be able to work half the hours we are now and make twice the wage. I don’t think things will get that bad, just different. We humans tend to adapt fairly well to our environment.

I think the quality of life is much more important than the quantity. Before you find me drooling in a bib, doing my business in a diaper and likely voting ndp in an old folks warehouse I would choose the modern day equivalent of the Eskimo ice flow treatment. Barbs and booze should fit the bill when the time comes.

What kind of life is it when you don’t even know it is your kid that is sitting on the chair beside the bed. No thanks!

Health care spending in BC has doubled since 2002 and now exceeds 17 billion. That rate of growth cannot be sustained for very long.

@ataloss oas-oap could care less as it will be most likely be all clawed back in our case;p According to Service Canada it is called the Old Age Security Pension so I would think either one would be correct.

FYI a avatar is incorrect should read an avatar, which is a picture, cartoon or a caricature to represent a person’s online profile. Username or even handle would be more correct for one using letters and numbers.

You might like Quebec with the long history of left leaning governments that comes with a debt to GDP ratio approaching 50% as opposed to BC’s 16% and dropping. Quebec’s motto- why pay your bills when you can leave them for your kids and Ottawa!

This formula gives the most stable and predictable funding the provinces have ever had. Yes GDP can fluctuate but there is a floor in place. It’s to bad mindless union drones can’t see it.

PVal not sure what home care you are referring to but the two I have dealings with have really good staff and food, they just don’t have time to make sure everyone gets the proper exercise during the day is the only beef we have, runs my wife ragged sometimes.

Ataloss take a rabies shot or two and stop foaming at the mouth, just waiting for ammonra to chime in with an apparent lack of math skills

@Albatross: Thanks for living up to the stereo-type. “…useful idiot” would be the latest in a long line of snot nosed progressive catch words and phrases that the party of collective group-think has forced upon the mindless rabble.
Once you pay off your student loan you can have an opinion sparky! Until then you are a net loss.

ataloss, speaking of health care, I hope that you don’t have a coronary, but today “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced a change to the student loan program, allowing people to apply for financial assistance for courses lasting a minimum of 34 weeks. Under the current program, students must take post-secondary programs that last at least 60 weeks.”

ataloss, you are a big proponent of education so this change, at least of the surface, seems like it might make it easier for some to get the education that they need or want in order to improve their lot in life!

ataloss, this sounds like a good thing, but coming from the Harper Government, I’m sure that you will tell me why it’s not, right??

I’ll let you have the first opportunity to poo poo this announcement!

There is a comment with truth, what are you spending priorities?? billions in corporate welfare, billions in military spending and oh yes 130 million trying to convince Canadians through advertising each year on what a great job your doing. Canada is not strapped for tax dollars for health care , seniors and education, its all about priorities and waste of the dollars collected. Stop the giveaways and focus on spending wisely, the average working person is not a bottomless pit of revenue.

Newsflash: Government wastes taxpayer dollars…bigger government wastes more taxpayer dollars. Next.

There’s nothing wrong with my math skills, Slinky. What I object to is the Orwellian double speak that a reduction from 6% to 3% is not a cut but an increase in funding, and nonsensical statements that increases over time would mean 100% of federal budgets would go to health care leaving nothing for anything else, like wars, education, MPs salaries, workers’ salaries, Parliament, transfer payments, etc, etc, etc.

Several years ago I did a long term analysis of health care funding for BC using provincial government data and it showed that funding over time had actually decreased from about 9% of GPP to about 8% of GPP over a 20 year period. It is difficult to be precise with this because the accounting data varied from year to year depending on what was including in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, but the inescapable conclusion was that, despite all the hype about excessive amounts of money being spent, the actual amount was remarkably consistent over an extended period of years. I do not believe that has changed much since then, and I believe the funding is still in the same ball park.

Funny thing is, the faux dippers in Quebec will simply vote Conservative to leverage their traditional influence in Ottawa, and the fledgling government will spare no expense purchasing their vote. It will be enough to make a true Liberal jealous. Popcorn anyone!

Jimmy you are a true gem… Now you are advocating the conservative government buy votes in Quebec to win the election… And this would be irony on the liberals. Such is the entertainment of a neocon.

Slinky then you don’t deal with Simon Fraser.

We do have an inter generational split. The over 55 generation rode the monetary policy from high mid teen interest rates down to record low interest rates we have today and this allowed fiscal policy for rich unfunded retirement plans, a stock market and investment stimulus bonanza, and a real estate ponzi driven by foreigners buying their citizenship that will leave the younger generation holding the bag.

The older generation got it all to the top floor and the younger generation will be expected to pick up the tab… But in reality the older generation are the ones with all the capital. Consumer income more and more is predicated on financial wealth and less and less on working income wealth… and so Government revenue will have to transfer from income to financial wealth… We will have to institute things like higher capital gains taxes and estate taxes and that is who will be paying for the Heath care bubble in the coming years and not the under paid working stiff. Time to buck up for those that lived on the high horse through all the good years.

Grandparents on my moms side are late 80’s and still healthier than most in their 60’s… And still in their same house of 60-years. They eat good and live a healthy lifestyle. My dads mom has a fantastic care home in Lethbridge that is a bit expensive, but it’s right downtown with all the amenities anyone could ask for within a short wheel chair commute. I can only hope my old age years will be as good… My three tear old already has $7000 plus in his RESP account… Essentially the child tax credits reinvested with government matching grants, so that he can be ones to get an education without the debt in 20-years time.

Well put Eagleone, but, as a barely 55 over, I don’t expect you to weep for me, but we have taken a bit of the hit. In 1996 the CPP was essentially insolvent, and the government announced CPP rates would more than double, so that they could give me the pension I would have got had they not screwed up in the first place. That said, my generation stands to inherit a significant chunk, because the generation before us is more befitting of your description.

I am concerned about the generation below me, and every time someone calls for more funding for this or that, with no real plan on how to pay for it in the now, I do understand they are punting the problem down the road. The problem with the younger generation – is they do not vote. When you look at the polls, they represent a response based on a phone call. When the rubber meets the road, it’s conservative minded older people who actually head out to a polling booth. If the younger generation has any hope of not getting the royal screwing, they need to start voting, and start mattering to decision makers. Harper wins with 33% polling, because of good chunk of the other 67% don’t tick a box.

Your assumption is correct PVal

And sorry to break it to you but you are wrong ammonra
2009-10 federal revenue decreased 8.4 percent
2010-11 federal revenue increased 3.4 percent
2011-12 federal revenue increased 3.0 percent
2012-13 federal revenue increased 5.9 percent

Just went back 4 years but published revenue to the feds went up 3.9 percent (or less than a percentage a year) while healthcare spending went up 24 percent (6 percent per year – didn’t add in compounding on either number because if you want that then pull out a calculator and do it yourself). So you see if you scroll up ski51 already did some numbers for you so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Hope the person in charge of your retirement plan knows a bit more about compounding and percentages than you appear to or you may be in the soup kitchen line before you know it.

If a number is always going up it is not a “cut” in any sense of the word, maybe “less of an increase” or “smaller increase than previous years” except in the mind of someone who expects an increase every year and then is disappointed when the increase is less than they want.

Ammonra, what is GPP? A number only available to lab techs doing long term funding analysis?

GPP = Gross Provincial Product = Provincial equivalent of the GDP

To Slinky: I never mentioned Federal revenue, so how can I possibly be wrong about it. I made it clear the funding was based on provincial data not federal data. I was under the impression that health care was a provincial responsibility and the federal government transferred money to the provinces for actual implementation. You could always repeat the analysis yourself.

This IS about federal health transfers to the provinces – that is what the hullabaloo is all about. Has nothing to do with the provincial party.

A quote from your own post above “nonsensical statements that increases over time would mean 100% of federal budgets would go to health care leaving nothing for anything else” shows you know it is about the federal budget and nothing to do with ‘provincial data’ and that is the statement I am replying to as is ski51.

How clever, Slinky, take a comment completely out of context and use it to prove something or other. My comment about nonsensical statements was in reply to your snide remark about my math skills and referred to Zimmer’s comments reported in an earlier article that I had classified as claptrap.

My comments about the consistency of health funding as a percentage of the GPP were clearly identified as coming from provincial data. You chose to misapply those comments, claiming I was wrong based on federal data. That’s comparing apples and kumquats. Provincial involvement in health care funding is always relevant because the provinces have responsibility for health care.

Dude, get different glasses!

“How clever, Slinky, take a comment completely out of context and use it to prove something or other… My comment about nonsensical statements was in reply to your snide remark about my math skills and referred to Zimmer’s comments reported in an earlier article that I had classified as claptrap.”

Clever? Zimmer’s comments in an earlier article were on the exact same thing as this article – that federal transfer’s increasing by 6% would eventually end up as 100% of the federal budget. Here is a link to the previous article for you in case you forgot the two stories are about the exact same thing and nothing to do with the provincial party.


Your quote from that article “Mr. Zimmer’s claim that we would get to 100% of the federal budget being given to health care if increases continue at the past rates is claptrap.” – past rates being 6% increase.

On that article I corrected you that if revenue did not increase simple math showed it would only take 25 years to go from 25% to 101% of the budget. To which you replied “April fool, IF revenue remained stagnant”

Now if you look up this page and see ski51’s chart with an increase in GDP/revenue of 3% average and transfers of 6% it would take 64 years to get over 100% of the federal budget to which you reply “I never mentioned federal revenue, so how can I be wrong about it?” – see above reference to ‘claptrap’.

In conclusion – Zimmer’s comments on this and the past article are not “claptrap” they are fact

I add – which you are shown time and time again by real numbers and some basic math about the magic of compounding.

Obviously, common sense is not your strong suit, or you are willfully refusing to get the point. 100% of the budget means 0% for anything else. Nothing for politicians’ pay, nothing for pensions, nothing for civil servants’ wages, nothing for education, nothing for policing and so on, and so on. It is nonsensical. It is claptrap because those other things would have to be included in the budget, therefore the health care portion of the same budget could never reach 100%. By the same token it is not possible to exceed 100% of a budget. 100% is all of it. It is not possible to have in a budget a hugher percentage than the whole of the budget. It is nonsense to suggest that it can. It is claptrap. Simple compounding of numbers to reach a numeric goal is not proof that it would happen. It is just a mathematical progression which does not apply in a real world situation such as taxation and budgeting and therefore has no relevance. It is a red herring purporting to give support to a premise, but which violates the most fundamental of the rules of logic. Your fantasy-progression was also based on a ridiculous premise – that there would be no change in federal income.

Even if the article is about Federal money, my comments were clearly identified as being based on provincial data. You may not like that I introduced a provincial based opinion into the thread, but that is what I did as is my privilege. Your response that I was wrong about Federal data must therefore be wrong since I never commented on the federal data you specified. As Dumbfounded said, “Dude, get different glasses!”

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