A Bloc Québécois motion calling for an increase in federal health transfers before the end of the year was adopted in the Commons on Wednesday.
Conservatives and New Democrats lined up behind the Bloc initiative and the Liberals were unable to block it.
The text adopted calls on the government to “significantly and sustainably increase Canadian health transfers before the end of 2020 in order to support the efforts of the governments of Quebec and the provinces, health workers and the population”.
Note that the Liberal Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture, mistakenly voted in favor of the motion, which was adopted by 176 votes to 148.
Earlier Wednesday, the National Assembly unanimously voted in favor of a motion deploring the fact that the economic update presented by the Trudeau government on Monday does not provide for any increase in health transfers.
“Justin Trudeau is totally isolated in his refusal and his denial of granting Quebec and the provinces necessary and urgent health transfers. It must do so immediately, unconditionally and over the long term, ”said Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet when he left the House.
A meeting between Mr. Trudeau and his provincial and territorial counterparts on annual health transfers will take place on Thursday, December 10. If he says he’s open to discussing an increase in long-term federal funding, the Canadian Prime Minister is sending a signal that he is prioritizing ad hoc support to counter COVID-19.
“We [sera] here with the premiers, next week, to talk about health spending in the years to come, but now you will understand that our priority is to help Canadians get through this crisis- ci, ”he said on Tuesday.
The premiers are urging the federal government to increase its annual transfers to cover 35%, rather than 22%, of total health costs.
Mr. Trudeau allowed himself to point out on Tuesday that the amounts stretched in the wake of the pandemic – of about $ 25 billion – equivalent to a marked increase in transfers for the current year.
“The gap between the amounts the Prime Minister named and those required by the provinces is monumental. On the other hand, what the provinces need is predictability, ”replied Mr. Blanchet on Wednesday.