‘What the federal government campaigned on’


Ontario is unimpressed.

Moments after Mr. Flaherty announced the new five-year funding commitment, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan issued a statement, accusing the federal government of reneging on a promise made during the election campaign to support health care … “All we were looking to do was implement what the federal government campaigned on – 6 per cent a year growth in the Canada Health Transfer for the duration of the next health accord,” he said. “Today they backed away from that.”

The Globe counts Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PEI and Manitoba as standing, quite literally, in the general vicinity of the Ontario finance minister. Quebec is definitely displeased. Canadian Press counts Manitoba among the visibly angry.


‘What the federal government campaigned on’

  1. Quebec is displeased? What a surprise, Ontario is what? Chagrined? Disgusted?  More shock, stunned really.

    This is a signal to all those who think that healthcare is a continuous sluice of cash for profligate spending, a message if you will, that it’s time, as recently stated, to have a grown up conversation about healthcare. Perhaps, and I shudder, to emulate even the european states that allow some modicum of private insurance into their healthcare model. Heaven forbid! 

    • oh and as an addendum, the campaign promise was for stable, read 6% annual increase through 2014. This new, initiative begins at the end of that promise, so spare me the outrage Mr. Duncan.

      • Perhaps you could have read about it first.

        And here is how the Sun reported the situation.

        The Liberals, Tories and NDP all committed Friday to maintain the current 6% compounding increases set out in the 2004 Health Accord. And while the Liberals officially promised to keep the payments increasing beyond 2014, when the accord expires, both Conservative and New Democrat party officials confirmed their parties’ pledge to do the same beyond the deal’s expiry date, too.

        The official Conservative election platform actually included no mention of the 6% escalator, but in a news release sent out 17 days later, the Conservative campaign referenced the promise three times.


  2. Darrent, ever hear of Blue Cross or Sun… Just two of the private health insurance companies active in Canada, both of which have been utilized by government employee benefit programs throughout Canada for many decades, not to mention by individuals and unions.

    A grown up conversation about health care? How about a grown up conversation about national debt? The interest on national debt alone would fund health care.

    Lets have a grown up conversation about F35’s or a flawed crime bill that will have financial repercussions for decades, both of which will add to national debt. The USA isn’t even sure they can buy these jets but there is Harper with Canada’s credit card in hand waiting…
    How many dangerous incursions have our CF18’s had to save us from in the last 30 years? NONE. We just use them to make the USA invasions into other countries look legitimate.

    It seems every 25 years or so Canadians forget what the conservatives really stand for and stupidly allow them back into power in the government, Then of course they get reminded and it is another 25 years or so before they get another crack at it, as demonstrated by the last 100 years of election results.
    If the ‘grown ups’ touch health care it will be their death and they know it. Canada does not need profit mongers holding citizens for ransom to death and pain.

    • “How many dangerous incursions have our CF18’s had to save us from in the last 30 years? NONE. We just use them to make the USA invasions into other countries look legitimate.”

      Yeah, we should have let those Kosovar Albanians and Libyan civilians die.  Who needs ’em?

    • last time I checked neither blue cross or sun provided insurance for surgical or other emergent medical care, furthermore  the national debt goes back a long way, but while we’re on the topic the Liberals and the NDP were unequivocal in there demand to raise it during the most recent economic slowdown. And yes there need to be other priorities in addition to healthcare and they include keeping people safe both here in keeping criminals where they belong and protecting our national interests, if need be in places other than within our borders. Perhaps you recall the CF-18’s helping to convince the Serbs to stop the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. Perhaps that meshed with your progressive sentiments. Short memory I guess. What is so sad is that people like you dismiss out of hand any conversation about change in tactics regarding healthcare and insist that the only solution is dumping more money year after year into an abyss without even considering that there are other solutions. That is what i mean by an adult conversation, Sadly you and Emily have proven over and over again that you are patently incapable of that again, no surprise. 

      oh and Emily, the increases beyond 2014 will continue, just not at the current rate, a floor of 3% with an upside of increase in GDP. Maybe Mr. Duncan can convince his boss to stop tilting at windmills and divert some of the billions to healthcare. 

      • Darrent

        “last time I checked neither blue cross or sun provided insurance for surgical or other emergent medical care”.
        Clearly you have NEVER checked, I had such coverage in the 70s and it existed before that. Like to check for the first time?



        …and you accuse others of “outright lies as usual, you’ll say damn near anything to attempt a point. sadly your tactic is old and transparent”. Sad indeed!

        These unnamed “other options” would they perhaps include a USA styled health care system like this?


        I have no doubt the propaganda you swallow forbid you to watch the Michael Moore movies, but you might want to rent ‘Sicko’ and watch it before you end up embarrassing yourself, and possibly killing yourself by adopting a USA style solution.

        • Aaah yes, the ole false dichotomy:  the ONLY possible choices we have in health care are:

          1. the status quo; or

          2. what the Americans have.

          No other choices are possible.

          End of debate.  End of thinking.  Everyone go home now.

          PS – Europe doesn’t exist.  No need to talk about their health care systems as possible alternatives.  Because they don’t exist.  End of conversation.

          • “These unnamed “other options” would they perhaps include a USA styled health care system”
            Ah yes, there is a closed statement ruling out any other possibilities if ever there was one!

            Why is it all of these possibilities are never mentioned? We have lots of (unnamed) options!
            Europe does exist! And France and England have even more ‘all encompassing’ health care systems than Canada, they include pharmaceuticals.
            Lets see, are you referring to say… Poland, or say Afghanistan? Or maybe it is Morocco and Liechtenstein you wish to utilize as an example.
            One thing all of you ‘other examples’ people have in common is you NEVER provide ‘other examples’. Lets see some numbers, some country health care systems, it can’t be too difficult for you people with such superior intellects. Spell it out in single syllable words so the rest of us can understand your complex thought processes…

            Or just hide behind contrite statements, generalities and exaggerations…

            End of conversation.


  3. If Flaherty showed up and said “our government is prepared to maintain the 6% increases until 2018 but our view is that after that we should collectively be in a position to work with increases tied to GDP” he probably would have had some agreement and some disagreement, maybe some pleas to consider aging populations, but not this open opposition.

    Are the Conservatives deliberately trying to piss people off?

  4. Health care spending in Ontario is $46 billion.  According to Duncan’s own ministry: “Health sector expense is projected to increase by $6 billion from 2009-10 to 2012-13”, for an annual increase of $2 billion, which represents a 4.3% annual increase.  Source:


    So here we’ve got a guy capping health spending increases at 4.3% complaining about the guy offering him 6% for the next few years, but only because he intends to pocket that money intended for health.

    It gets better.  As Ontario received 50% of all immigrants its population increases 1.2% a year(http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/#s1); factoring in inflation (higher in medical sector) and an ageing population, and health spending in Ontario is essentially flat.

    • Here’s a shocking secret….health care costs go up, just like everything else.

      • and that justifies unquestioning increases in public funding how? perhaps there are other solutions?

        • Mmm I knew the ‘other solutions’ would show up soon

          Nobody is going for privatization, sorry.

    • So that $1 billion pi$$ed away on eHealth wasn’t really that big a deal?  Lots more where that came from?

      • Sell the gazebos

      • While it wasn’t spent effectively, we did get electronic health records out of it. Governments should be banned from designing their own applications.

    • Anna, you are obviously very good at digging up statistics, can you find the percentage of those health care expenditures earned by drug companies?

      My guess is it will land near 50% of total expenditures.

  5. Of course they’re angry.  They’re always angry when they don’t get all the free money in the world.  God forbid they would learn to balance a budget properly in Ontario or Quebec.

  6. The McGuinty government has a lot of nerve accusing anyone else of breaking election promises. A lot of nerve.

    • They do have nerve… BUT that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

      • Yes, lying is wrong. They lied to get into power, and they’ll lie to say in power, right?

        • What am I supposed to be agreeing with?

        • You clearly are misunderstanding what GBS was saying.   Maybe he could have better worded it, like ‘that doesn’t mean what they (Ontario) said is incorrect’

          As for lying being wrong, lying to keep power, etc.:  Are you referring to Harper’s mendacity regarding the legitimacy of coalitions when he was campaigning, or possibly Van Loan’s sterling defence of falsehood as a political tool worthy of free speech protection?  

          Surely someone of your elevated principles would condemn that. 

          • No, it is you who is clearly not getting it. A government that lied to get into power like the McGuinty Liberals are not correct when it comes to this issue. Sorry.

            And it’s people like you who lie about Harper and coalitions, or who only adore Speaker’s rulings when they go your way. I’ve never seen anything like it.

          • There’s no getting through to you.

            By your logic, when someone – anyone – who has ever uttered an untruth, says something that is factually true (i.e. “correct”) then its still a lie?

            If that’s the case your dear leader’s nose should be the size of a telephone pole.

          • I get a kick out of people on here who believe absolutely that they have a monopoly on the truth, and then get outraged when it’s obviously proven false.

          • Why in the world would anyone use a lying government as a source to attack another government? Where does this kind of logic come from? A Cracker Jack box?

          • “I get a kick out of people on here who believe absolutely that they have a monopoly on the truth, and then get outraged when it’s obviously proven false”
            Not sure how you arrived at that conclusion. Projecting perhaps?

            And . . . still waiting for a coherent response from you to the particular point under discussion – as GBS confirmed, you are misunderstanding what he said (willfully perhaps?).

            Anyways, I try to distinguish between assessments based on facts and data (i.e. ‘correct’ or ‘not correct’) and those made as value judgements (‘right’ vs ‘wrong’), I was just trying to understand what was ‘incorrect’ in what was said.

            As for the value judgement, well, you are entitled to your opinion, as is everyone else.  All I will say is, just don’t presume to be the final arbiter on truth.

          • Let’s see. I raise a point, you don’t like that point, so you want me to cede to another point. You’re just not very keen on freedom of thought or dissent, are you.

            I also don’t quite understand your lecture on values and facts, or why you think you have some kind of ownership of the latter.

            Again, some people seem to come on here wanting everyone to bow to their views. When they don’t, outrage ensues.

          • The point was that we all seem to agree that the Ontario govt certainly has nerve to say what they did . . . even though what they said was factually correct. Not sure what tangent you’re on about.

            The point of the lecture, as you put it (what *ahem* gall!), was to point out your apparent confusion between observations of facts and arguments based on interpretations.  I’m just trying to understand your reasoning process.

            But somehow that seems to set you off on a rant.

          • I don’t agree with the lying McGuinty government, and this is the first time you’ve indicated that you think they’re a lying government, too. I’m not interpreting anything. Where do you get this stuff? That Cracker Jack box again?

          • Yes, we all know you don’t agree with the McGuinty govt.

            But try address the original point, is what they said factual or not?  If its not factual, how so?

          • How many times do I have to say it? On this issue, I do not agree with the McGuinty government. You yourself said they had a lot of nerve, too,right? They have not presented fact on this. Please tell me how they have. Geez.

          • Thanks for pointing out the misunderstanding. You are right, poor wording on my part. Your re-write captured my thoughts much better.

    • REmember Flaherty’s hidden 6 bllion

    • Great point. But the Ontario Liberals had to eat that promise, and I suppose to the extent Harper is breaking his, he should too.

      To be honest, I think this should be satisfactory. If the electorate doesn’t like it, they can elect a different government in 2015 to continue the 6% increases.

      • I don’t think there’s any comparison between the two.

        Some of Harper’s officials may have extended their platform promise beyond 2014, 2016, or whenever, in response to Iggy’s ante.

        Dalton McGuinty, on the other hand, took an oath not to raise taxes and to balance the budget — and, if he couldn’t do that, to take it to the people with a referendum. His whole platform was based on this plank. There was no mistaking it. He then proceeded to throw it out the window the moment he got power. In other words, his whole campaign was one big lie.

        Again, I’d hardly compare the two men or the two promises.

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