Jim Flaherty is not a man who respects the sanctity of the buffet. The diminutive federal finance minister stunned his provincial colleagues over a pick-and-eat lunch Monday when he presented them with a new health care accord. According to the Globe and Mail, the text of the agreement spoiled more than one meal. The new deal, which Flaherty said will not be negotiated, ties future health transfers to GDP growth. By contrast, the previous accord, terms of which will continue through 2016-17, guaranteed the provinces a six per cent increase per annum. Western premiers seemed mostly sanguine about the take-or-leave-it offer. But from Manitoba eastward, there was outrage. “My feelings have moved from surprise to anger,” Stan Struthers, Manitoba’s finance minister, said, according to the Globe. “They just landed this on the table over the lunch hour. It caught us all by surprise.”
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