Health care, economy top agenda for NS, NB premiers at first ministers meeting

Seniors group concerned about second attempt to overhaul pharmacare
WATCH ABOVE: Nova Scotia seniors group says there has yet to be any consultation on the government's plan to overhaul the pharmacare program by next year. In February, the government cancelled widely criticized changes and said a province-wide consultation would precede a second attempt at changing the program. Global's legislative reporter Marieke Walsh reports.

Freer trade between the provinces and territories and health care funding is a top issue at high-level meetings in Whitehorse.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick premiers Stephen McNeil and Brian Gallant will join first ministers from across the country at the Council of the Federation.

Changing how health care is funded is still a top priority for McNeil, according to a government press release.

McNeil is calling on the federal government to “ensure the Canada Health Transfer is strengthened.”

Previously, McNeil asked Ottawa to top up the health transfer to provinces with higher proportions of seniors and higher levels of chronic disease.

In a press release, New Brunswick’s Liberal government says Gallant will make the economy his top priority at the meetings.

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“All regions of the country need to work together to get our resources to market, to invest in innovation and to develop a strong workforce,” Gallant said in the press release.

Gallant has long pushed for the approval of the Energy East pipeline which would see crude oil piped from Alberta to New Brunswick. However, the pipeline is opposed by many groups including some First Nations groups and governments in Quebec. In June, the National Energy Board launched a 21-month review of the pipeline.



The premiers are meeting with aboriginal leaders Wednesday, the official Council of the Federation meeting runs Thursday to Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not be at the meetings, the premiers will also discuss climate change, disaster relief and pension reform.

-With files from The Canadian Press