New Brunswick is the grinch that stole a national health accord
Ottawa – The Canadian Health Coalition is discouraged by the announcement that the New Brunswick government has signed a bilateral health deal with the Federal government. Using data from the Council of the Federation’s working group on fiscal arrangements, NB will lose approximately $659 million with this bilateral agreement than if they negotiated with the other premiers to keep the current 6% transfer until 2024.
By negotiating their own bilateral agreement, NB may have weakened the ability of other provinces to negotiate a stronger health accord. Provinces like Ontario require a 5.2% CHT to continue offering their current basket of health care services. All of us are at risk of seeing our public health care system significantly weakened if these types of bilateral arrangements continue.
It is interesting to note, that NB confirmed earlier assumptions that the Federal government did indeed call the health and finance ministers to Ottawa to offer them a worse deal (a flat 3.5% CHT) than the previous Harper government offer of GDP with a floor of 3%.
The Canadian Health Coalition continues to call for the federal, provincial and territorial governments to return to the Health Accord negotiation table and work out a deal that is in the best interest of all Canadians.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition