Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said a government led by him would keep in place the Liberal government’s recently proposed health-care deal with the provinces.
The deal, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday following a first ministers’ meeting with the 13 premiers, includes $196.1 billion in health-care spending over the next decade — $46.2 billion of which is new spending.
The proposal comes after pressure from the premiers on the federal government for more health-care dollars.
The premiers have not accepted the offer yet, and the Council of the Federation chair, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, said Tuesday the proposal is “significantly less” money than what the premiers are looking for.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Poilievre said a future Conservative government under his leadership wouldn’t reverse the additional health-care funding.
“Yesterday, [Trudeau] announced sums that are not adequate, according to the premiers, to fix the health-care damage that has emerged under eight years of Trudeau,” Poilievre said in a media scrum.
“Obviously, a future Conservative government led by myself will keep in place these additional sums and honour the commitments made yesterday.”
WATCH | Poilievre says he would keep health-care funding proposed by Trudeau:
Poilievre added that his government would spend more on health care beyond the announced sums in the deal, and could fund the spending by cutting back in other areas.
When asked, he did not give a specific dollar amount of additional health-care spending under a Conservative government.
He did say a Conservative government could partially fund new health-care spending by eliminating consulting fees, referencing recent questions about the government’s spending on management consulting firms.
Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has received more than $100 million in government contracts over the last seven years.
While the federal funding in Trudeau’s proposal comes with some conditions, such as improvements in provincial health-care data collection and usage, Poilievre did not say whether health-care spending from a Conservative government would come with conditions.
But he said he wants to work with provinces to fast-track credentialing for immigrants who are health-care professionals.
“A Conservative government will unleash the productive forces of our economy so there’s more money available to support health care,” Poilievre said.
“We will cut the waste and mismanagement in the federal government, including the high-priced consultants, so that more of your tax dollar goes to the emergency room and to treating your family.”