Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform my colleagues about the February 4 Council of the Federation (COF) meeting I attended via video conference.
Mr. Speaker, the Council of the Federation provides a forum where Canada’s Premiers meet to advance their priorities, by working collaboratively on key issues of common interest. Throughout the meeting I was impressed by the dedication, energy, and passion each of my colleagues demonstrated, not only for their respective jurisdictions but also for the challenges we collectively face.
Mr. Speaker, our discussions focused on an urgent and essential issue: the sustainability of health care across Canada.
In Nunavut, there is an acute understanding that our healthcare system needs urgent support, and long-term solutions that will decrease our reliance on Southern healthcare.
My colleagues and I were unanimous in our call to the federal government to increase its share of the provincial/territorial health care costs through the Canada Health Transfer from approximately 22 per cent to 35 per cent annually.
Although, the Canada Health Transfer only accounts for a very small percentage of Nunavut’s healthcare funds, our territory relies on partnerships with southern jurisdictions such as Ontario and Manitoba for healthcare services.
Mr. Speaker, as the long-term viability of health care in Nunavut and across Canada is key to healthy and prosperous communities, I look forward to ongoing solution-focused dialogue with the federal government and our provincial and territorial partners.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.