Premier John Horgan says Canada’s provinces and territories need a partner that will share half the load on a health-care system that is buckling without sustainable funding.
Horgan is hosting Canada’s premiers in Victoria for two days of meetings this week.
He says they’ve already sent the federal government a detailed funding proposal and he received a text from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today, saying they are aware of the situation and are working on it.
Leaders from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions met with premiers earlier today to say the health system is on the brink of disaster and nurses have been struggling through extreme staffing shortages with no end in sight to the conditions.
Canada’s premiers started their summer gathering at a Victoria-area First Nation where they met with leaders of the National Indigenous Organizations, a collection of five national Indigenous groups.
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The Council of the Federation, representing premiers from Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, are meeting in Victoria Monday and Tuesday.
Métis National Council president Cassidy Caron said the dialogue was “extremely valuable,” encompassing topics such as the Indian Act, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, land claims, child welfare, and unmarked burial sites at former residential school sites.
“We spent the morning getting to know one another, getting to build the relationships,” she told reporters after the meeting.
“There are solutions we can all develop together through talking about our challenges, talking about best practices — what’s working and what’s not working in each of our jurisdictions.”
The meeting comes just over a week before the Pope is scheduled to visit Canada to offer what is expected to be an in-person apology for abuse suffered by Indigenous Peoples at the hands of the Catholic Church.