(Djerba, Tunisia) Justin Trudeau will try to reconcile the vexed issue of federal health transfers, saying the Legault government is “already doing a very good job” in terms of data collection, a condition for giving more money to the provinces.
The Canadian Prime Minister threw flowers at the Legault government and by extension Health Minister Christian Dubey, praising the work of Quebec working to improve data systems in the health network and social services.
“We are discussing how provinces can improve and standardize their data systems. I can point out that Quebec is already doing a very good job,” Mr. Trudeau said on the sidelines of a Francophonie summit that ends Sunday on the Tunisian island of Djerba.
Justin Trudeau goes so far as to say that the Quebec model, like elsewhere in Canada, will inspire Canadian provinces to “have a better overview of what’s going on in the country.”
A disgruntled Mr. This is how he responded to Dubey and replied, “If the federal government wants statistics, we have a public dashboard available.”
Ottawa, mired in a months-long standoff with the provinces, showed the first signs of openness earlier in the month, saying it was open to increasing federal health transfers. The provinces are united and demanding an increase in funding from 22% to 35%.
But, there remains a catch. Ottawa, on the other hand, wants to create a “world-class” health data system. The provinces, led by Quebec, strongly opposed it on the grounds that health was exclusively within their jurisdiction. A recent meeting between provincial health ministers and federal health minister Jean-Yves Duclos in Vancouver ended without an agreement.
The federal government last November pulled out of a joint press release it was supposed to publish at the end of the exercise.
Justin Trudeau said Sunday that he hopes to reach an agreement with the provinces on better sharing of data between provinces and with the federal government. “The federal government can check that everybody is doing their homework,” he said.
“If Canadians can figure out for themselves a way to provide better health services than someone in Montreal does at home in Saskatoon or Halifax, we can benefit from that across the country,” he added. Mr. Trudeau.
In Quebec, Mr. Dubé published a dashboard that measures the progress of his health plan. He wants to resume parliamentary work to bring back a new version of Bill 19 that would allow the decompartmentalization of data on the network.
The issue of federal health transfers was also discussed in a bilateral meeting between Justin Trudeau and François Legault — the first since his re-election, during a summit. The roughly twenty-minute interview allowed mainly to set the table for December.
When is the offer?
On Saturday, Mr. Legault said the provinces currently have no federal offers on the table. “Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Duclos we knew it was coming,” he said. On Sunday, Mr. Trudeau declined to say whether his government would come up with a new proposal to the provinces by the holidays. “We know how urgent this is,” the prime minister said with satisfaction.
“It’s going to take more money and we’re here to invest more money, but I think people know that we also need more improvements in our data systems. I think we can agree on that,” summed up Mr. Trudeau, who returns to the country this Sunday after a series of missions abroad.