OTTAWA – The federal finance minister says provincial demands for an increase in federal health transfers are out of the realm of anything the Trudeau government would consider.
In an interview ahead of a federal-provincial meeting on health funding, Bill Morneau says Ottawa will not give in to provincial requests to keep the annual increase in transfers higher than three per cent or the level of growth in nominal gross domestic product.
Morneau also says the government will not consider demands that it raise the federal share of spending to 25 per cent of provincial health budgets.
He says the government will only explore making specific investments in areas that it believes can have an impact, such as home care and mental health.
Morneau says Ottawa is considering requests by the premiers to make longer-term federal investments in these areas and notes that the Liberal government has already committed to invest $3 billion on home care.
He says Ottawa will only invest more if it can see what he describes as positive outcomes — otherwise the government will revert to what it promised during the election campaign, which is to limit the annual increase in health transfers to three per cent and provide the $3-billion investment in home care.