There has been a major setback in talks between the federal government and provinces and territories over a new long-term health-care funding agreement.
Negotiations ended late Monday without reaching a new deal after Ottawa offered $8-billion dollars over 10 years as well as $544-million over five years for prescription drug and “innovation” initiatives.
That was in addition to a 3.5 per cent annual increase in health transfers and $3.5-billion for home care and mental health, but the offer was rejected by the provinces and territories.
The Trudeau government has removed that offer from negotiations, and are now back to just offering $8-billion dollars over a decade.
The annual transfer is set to drop from six per cent, where it has been for over a decade, to three per cent a year next April.
Health Minister Jane Philpott express disappointment on Monday that the provinces and territories did not feel that they could accept the new offer.
Profoundly sad tonight. Worked months to achieve an excellent offer to improve health for Canadians. Still determined to find a way to help.
— Jane Philpott (@janephilpott) December 20, 2016
Before the talks even began on Monday, the provinces felt the Trudeau government was refusing to properly negotiate, and took issue with what they saw as a lacklustre take-it-or-leave-it offer.
(Photo credit: Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)