Premiers Call for Feds to Step Up on Health Care and Resource Investment
Prince George, B.C.- The Western Premiers are calling for the Federal Government to do more when it comes to health care funding.The Federal formula for Health care funding was changed by the Harper Government and Ottawa now provides about 17% . Previously it was 25%, and Premier Christy Clark says the Federal share has to increase “The Federal Government needs to come back to being a full partner in Health Care in Canada, especially as the population ages. Without the Federal Government at the table, it’s going to be really difficult to make sure we can continue to support this universal health care system that is the envy of the world and the Federal Government has to be a bigger part of that they have been or that the current funding formula will allow them to be.”
Other issues discussed at the Western Premiers conference include resource development. “We need as Canadians, not just diversified economies, we need to have diverse markets for our goods if we want to get the best price for Canadians and that means getting those resources to market” says Clark. The Western Premiers re-iterated the need for the Federal Government to invest in infrastructure that will get those resources to ports where they can be shipped to Asian markets, that means improvements in road, rail and ports.
Clark says the situation in Ft. McMurray is catching the attention of international investors, as the Bank of Montreal has now downgraded Canada’s growth prediction for 2016 from 1.5% to zero. “They are watching what’s happening in Fort Mac, recognizing the impact that’s going to have on the resource economy in this country and lowering our expectation for growth as a country as a result. If any Canadian listening today doubts how important Western Canada’s natural resources are to this country, they should pay attention to that fact. As Fort McMurray burns, and as the economic infrastructure that has so long supported Canadians is threatened, international observers are suggesting that our economic growth is going to suffer disastrously as a result, and I think that puts the finest point possible on why Western Premiers are so focused on making sure that we have investment in our resource ecomomy, that we have investment in our infrastructure to get our goods to market and that we open up opportunities overseas including TPP and individual trade agreements with India, China and Japan as priorities because these resources matter to every single Canadian no matter where you live.”