Ontario signals acceptance of health deal, raises concerns about funding timelines


Published February 8, 2023 at 11:26 am

Ontario’s premier and health minister say the province will accept any new spending and investments on health care from the federal government, but they are concerned about the timelines of the funding being offered by Ottawa.

Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones are set to meet Thursday in Toronto with federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc to discuss the details of proposed new money.

The federal government presented an offer Tuesday to the provinces and territories for an additional $17 billion over 10 years in increases to the Canada Health Transfer, as well as a $2-billion top-up for this year and another $25 billion in targeted funding for family doctors, mental health, surgical backlogs and health data systems.

It’s far less than the premiers were seeking, but Ford and Jones appear prepared to accept it.

However, Jones says that new money in five- or 10-year increments doesn’t offer enough stability for the province to plan long-term projects such as building new hospitals and medical schools.

Jones also says she is “frankly surprised” that there hasn’t been more interest and conversations from the federal government on home and community care.

The Canadian Press

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