(Ottawa) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintains that the failure to mention an increase in health transfers in the statement tabled Monday does not mean he will arrive empty-handed to meet with his provincial and territorial counterparts. He also confirms that the statement will be the subject of a vote of confidence in the Commons.
At a press conference outside his Rideau Cottage residence on Tuesday, he said he was open to discussion, and that “obviously there are going to be conversations” about the long-term future of the Canada Transfer. health (TCS).
Instead, the Prime Minister referred to the one-off measure included in the economic statement signed by the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, where nowhere does one speak of the possibility of improving the CHT.
It does promise to transfer up to $ 1 billion to the provinces and territories for their long-term care facilities, but the money is tied to establishing national standards for those centers.
“This financing will be conditional on the presentation of detailed expenditure plans and allocated according to an equal amount per capita, provided that the administration in question demonstrates that its investments were in accordance with the expenditure plans”, we read in particular in the document.
The premiers of the provinces and territories have already signaled that they intend to make the increase in the CHT a major issue at this meeting.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc did not refer to it explicitly when confirming the date of the summit meeting Monday night on Twitter.
On the agenda: “common fight against COVID-19”, “strengthening of health care” as well as “logistics and [la] vaccine distribution ”, enumerated the minister.
In Quebec on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, insisted that it was “unacceptable” that the Trudeau government persists in wanting to impose a line of conduct for CHSLDs.
Towards (another) vote of confidence
A bill detailing proposals put forward in the economic statement has been placed on the order paper.
It could thus be tabled in the coming days, according to the will of the government.
As these measures are fiscal in nature, the legislation will engage the confidence of members of the House of Commons, confirmed Prime Minister Trudeau at the lectern installed in front of his home.
“It’s a fall statement; these are economic measures which, of course, will be the subject of a vote of confidence, ”he pleaded.
“But I have a reasonable confidence that none of the opposition parties want an election right now. We certainly don’t want one. We want to give Canadians the help they need, and there are certainly things in this fall economic statement that every party should be able to support, ”continued Justin Trudeau.
Last October, the Bloc members voted against the Speech from the Throne, angry at not having read any commitment in the text concerning health transfers.
Since the document presented by Chrystia Freeland does not contain any, does the same logic apply?
At a press conference on Tuesday, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, said he wanted to study the bill before saying whether he intends to withdraw his confidence.
However, he shot an arrow at the New Democratic Party (NDP), which avoided the fall of the government by voting for the Speech from the Throne.
“We ensured the NDP vote by leaving the wage subsidy [pour les partis] “, Quipped the Bloc leader.
During his speech, Justin Trudeau took care to establish a contrast between the way out of the crisis he proposed and that piloted by his predecessor, Stephen Harper.
“We all remember what happened when the previous government withdrew support too quickly during the 2008-2009 crisis,” he said.
“We’re not going to do that. We will stay there for the middle class and those working hard to join it. We will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, ”he said.