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July 12, 2022
The first day of the Council of Federation meeting focused on health care and the urgent need for a new, sustainable health funding partnership for Canadians.
All premiers are united in our call for the federal government to increase its share of health funding to 35 per cent through the Canada Health Transfer to ensure our public health systems can provide the tests, procedures and health services Canadians need, when they need them.
The prime minister promised to address this structural funding gap after the pandemic and now is the time for action. We are calling for a dedicated first ministers’ meeting to move forward on this critical issue and we urge the prime minister to recognize the urgency of this situation.
Yesterday, I was pleased to join a breakfast meeting hosted by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions to discuss the health human resources challenges all jurisdictions across Canada are facing. Canada’s premiers offered our support and gratitude to front-line workers and committed to working collaboratively to address these significant workforce challenges.
Canada’s premiers also met with National Indigenous Leaders on Monday. I want to thank regional Chief Terry Teegee of the Assembly of First Nations, national Chief Elmer St. Pierre of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, president Cassidy Caron of the Métis National Council and vice-president Lisa Weber of the Native Women’s Association of Canada for their wisdom and insights, along with those of Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation and Chief Rob Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation who graciously hosted us. We had very productive discussions on shared understandings and on how we can move forward together to advance reconciliation through many key initiatives that will make a meaningful difference for Indigenous families, children and youth.
Today’s discussions will focus on addressing affordability challenges being faced by all Canadians. Economic renewal driven by immigration, increased free trade, critical infrastructure, sustainable development and energy security will be key priorities. I look forward to leading a dedicated session on labour market shortages and immigration. A strong and diverse labour force is essential to Manitoba and Canada’s economic and social future. Effective collaboration between all governments is required to provide the relief and economic opportunities all Canadians need.
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