Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 24, 2022
So, four premiers go into a bar …
Something sadly predictable happens whenever a group of premiers gets together to talk, in particular about health care. We have to do better, a Team Canada approach, equal partners blah, blah, blah. And oh, by the way give us money, Ottawa. Loads more money. But don’t attach any strings, because that would intrude on provincial jurisdiction, which health care is.
All this happened this week when Maritime premiers and Doug Ford got together in New Brunswick. Ford said: “We look forward to having a collaborative relationship with the federal government … This is a Team Canada approach that we need to take.”
“The delivery of health care in P.E.I. and across the country is going to be fundamentally different than it used to be,” said the island province’s premier Dennis King.
The premiers aren’t wrong, and it is good to see them working together. Nor are they wrong to suggest Ottawa needs to do more, given how federal health transfers have not kept pace over recent years. And they’re not wrong to say, repeatedly, that the health system isn’t doing well, and the fixes can’t be business as usual. But they also talk about metrics, about measuring progress and change. In other words, they want strings attached. But they don’t want Ottawa to have the same thing. The premiers need to get past their dogma on jurisdiction, and do what Canadians expect — help the ailing system, put its users first, and put turf wars to the side. Better yet, put them squarely in the rear-view mirror. (Hamilton Spectator editorial)