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Bil Kelly: More money for health care can come after we flatten the curve

Click to play video: 'Quebec premier disappointed by federal government’s refusal to discuss health transfer payments' Quebec premier disappointed by federal government’s refusal to discuss health transfer payments
Quebec Premier François Legault said he was disappointed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's refusal to commit to increasing health transfers to the provinces, saying health-care funding is a daunting problem. Legault made the comments following a First Ministers meeting on Thursday. – Dec 10, 2020

Canada’s premiers were a disappointed bunch at the end of Thursday’s First Ministers conference.

They wanted an immediate commitment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase federal money into the Canada Health Transfer to help the provinces deal with increasing health care costs.

They got the commitment, but it won’t be immediate.

READ MORE: Premiers ‘disappointed’ Trudeau wouldn’t discuss health-care funding at meeting

Trudeau reiterated that slaying the pandemic and offering financial aid to individuals and businesses will continue to be the government’s top fiscal priority. But that’s not the answer the premiers wanted to hear.

Just how realistic was the premiers’ demand?

There was only lukewarm recognition of the billions of dollars that the feds have spent battling the ravages of COVID-19.

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Click to play video: 'First Ministers meeting focuses on health care funding, vaccine rollout' First Ministers meeting focuses on health care funding, vaccine rollout
First Ministers meeting focuses on health care funding, vaccine rollout – Dec 10, 2020

In fact, the federal government says estimated that $8 out of every $10 in government support programs for Canadians during the pandemic has come from the federal government, and the price tag for that is enormous.

The reality is that we won’t see any improvement in health care or the economy or any other facet of our lives until we snuff out this pandemic, and that should be the prime minister’s and the premiers’ first priority.

In the meantime, there was a commitment to pour more money into the health transfer pot and to offer federal money to address the problems in long term care.

And, the prime minister also confirmed that his government will cover the full cost of providing vaccines to the provinces.

The premiers didn’t get what they wanted, when they wanted it, but they left with more than they had when the meeting started.

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Given the fact that we’re in the throes of a horrific pandemic, that’s a good day for them.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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