- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Premier Ford Presses Ottawa to Increase Funding for Ontario Priorities
Today, Premier Doug Ford joined his fellow Premiers to press the federal government on critical priorities for the people of Ontario, including strengthening frontline health care and moving shovel-ready infrastructure projects forward. The need for additional health care funding is urgent with rising case numbers across the country, a potential second wave of COVID-19 on the horizon, and ongoing work to modernize hospitals, long-term care homes and other health facilities. Ontario joins provincial and territorial partners in calling for a significant increase to the federal Canada Health Transfer to cover 35 per cent of provincial-territorial health costs and help meet urgent challenges, prepare for the future, and build stronger health care systems. "This is a critical moment for us to stand together and build a stronger, more resilient province and country," said Premier Ford. "To meet the challenges we face, we need a modern health care system that can effectively respond to the potential surges and waves of COVID-19, while addressing issues such as hallway health care and the need for more long-term care beds. Ontario is at the table with $67 billion for health care this year, but we need the federal government to step up with its share to better protect the people we serve." Like many provinces and territories, Ontario is making unprecedented investments this year in health care to respond to COVID-19, including quickly expanding testing capacity, building more hospital capacity, and developing homegrown manufacturing capacity for personal protective equipment. Premier Ford joins Canada's Premiers in calling for a true long-term funding partner in the federal government to support this fundamental priority for Ontarians and Canadians alike. Premier Ford is also calling on Ottawa to reduce delays in federal approvals for current infrastructure projects and step up with an additional $10 billion per year over 10 years for shovel-ready projects. The province is seeking at least 40 per cent of total costs for the nationally significant $28.5 billion subway plan for the Greater Toronto Area, along with additional funding for broadband to expand and improve service to more rural, remote, and Northern communities. Supporting these projects will accelerate economic recovery by creating more jobs, providing more opportunities for local businesses, and improving the quality of life in these communities. Ontario stands ready to work with the federal government and provincial and territorial partners to advance these important priorities for the people of Ontario and all Canadians.
Ontario has invested $67 billion in health care this year, including an additional $7.7 billion as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Response to COVID-19.
Canada’s provinces and territories are projected to spend $188 billion on health care this year, while the federal government’s share amounts to $42 billion, or 22 per cent.
Under the original Medical Care Act, the federal government covered 50 per cent of eligible hospital and physician expenses. Today, the federal share has fallen to just over 22 per cent of provincial-territorial health spending and is projected to decline to 16 per cent by 2040.
Because of factors such as an aging population, new drugs and technology, the cost of health care is growing at an annual average of approximately 6 per cent, yet the federal Canada Health Transfer grows by approximately half that rate.