Canada's prime minister is trying to agree on some issues in Ontario

03 Décembre, 2019, 17:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Budget stabilization reforms are the focus of the meeting of Prime Minister of Freeland Moe- National

Moe said at the Council of the Federation meeting in Saskatoon, the premiers came to a virtual consensus on the idea that provinces should be in charge of their climate change policies, and he's hoping to reaffirm that at this meeting.

The premiers also want the federal government to increase health-care transfer funds and allow provinces to opt out of any national pharmacare program.

The statement also calls for an increase to federal transfer payments to provinces for health care on an annual "escalator" that the premiers want set at 5.2%.

The premiers also said that any proposed national pharmacare plan "must be developed in partnership with provinces and territories", and must have an opt-out for provinces.

The country's premiers - determined to stress unity after a divisive federal election campaign - tiptoed past any political minefields at a Toronto meeting to reach joint positions on some key issues.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who was chairing the meeting, acknowledged there has been justified skepticism in the past as to whether such a group could ever look beyond regional interests to see things in one single way or speak with one unified voice.

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The premiers also agreed to "continuing to develop resources in a responsible manner" and ensure Canadian products can access markets.

"I think everyone is coming in with an open mind to have a frank and fair discussion in light of the results we saw on election night, which is why this meeting is coming together in the first place", Moe said ahead of the gathering. "Don't start broadening health care when you can't get it right now". The premiers are unanimously calling on federal government to lift the cap on that program, give us retroactive payments: "This would be worth upwards of a couple billion dollars". Moe and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney want to discuss amendments to the fiscal stabilization program.

Saskatchewan PM Scott Moe and Alberta PM Jason Kenney want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change the compensation formula, but prime ministers are unlikely to agree. Friday, Kenney called a more generous fiscal-stabilization program an "equalization rebate", implying that they're related and changing one would be similar to adjusting the other. I'm going to preclude what British Columbia is going to say (and) what Quebec is going to say.

"Showing that they understand the adversity Albertans are going through and focus on other parts of the country like Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador". They say it could help to meet the emission reduction targets.

Under the banner of economic competitiveness, the premiers talked about improving federal environmental assessments by exempting projects under provincial or territorial jurisdiction from mandatory impact assessments and working to eliminate protectionist measures, such as those on softwood lumber.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has been outspoken against Quebec's Bill 21, which prohibits some public employees, including teachers, government lawyers and police officers, from wearing prominent symbols of their religious beliefs.



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