THE NDP pointed out on Tuesday that when, in 2011, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government announced plans to reduce annual increases to the Canada Health Transfer, finance ministers from nearly every province opposed the cut, but Falcon was the cut’s only supporter: “From B.C.’s perspective, we think certainty is good thing.”
The NDP noted that this cut has cost British Columbia billions in healthcare funding. Premier David Eby has been leading the fight to ensure the federal government makes its share of healthcare investments.
The NDP accused Falcon of diminishing the federal role in healthcare funding: “Frankly they only fund about 10% of the health care budget. They’re a minor player in this whole thing.” (CHNL, May 2nd)
In fact, the federal government funds 22% of healthcare costs. The provinces are pushing the federal government to increase that to 35%.
The NDP pointed out that at the same time Falcon was welcoming federal healthcare cuts, he was increasing MSP premiums on British Columbians.
It added that Falcon has a track record of cuts to healthcare, including:
- As Health Minister in 2009, he forced health authorities to absorb $360 million in cuts.
- As Finance Minister in 2012, he squeezed healthcare funding even further.
- And recently, Falcon said he would open the door to private healthcare, removing more resources from our public system
Here’s how other provinces reacted to the federal funding cut:
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan: “a frontal attack on public health care.” (Globe and Mail)
Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand: “totally unacceptable.” (CBC)
Manitoba Finance Minister Stan Struthers: “It’s a lump of coal.” (Globe and Mail)
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall: “Frustrating.” (CBC)
PEI Finance Minister Wes Sheridan: “I couldn’t quite believe what we were seeing.” (Globe and Mail)
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter: “profoundly disappointing.” (CBC)
BC Finance Minister Kevin Falcon: “I appreciate that certainty. Obviously some of my colleagues feel differently.” (Globe and Mail)