Opposition Calls on Premier to Stand Up for Healthcare
Yukoners need a strong voice at meeting of territorial and provincial leaders
WHITEHORSE – In advance of this week’s gathering of territorial and provincial leaders at the Council of the Federation meeting in Halifax, Yukon NDP Official Opposition Leader Liz Hanson called on Premier Darrell Pasloski to stand up for healthcare in the face of federal funding changes.
“Late last year, the federal government announced a new funding formula for healthcare without consulting the territories or provinces,” said Hanson.
“The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates this formula will cut $31 billion from territorial and provincial health budgets over the next ten years. While other territories and provinces spoke up, the Yukon government was silent. It’s time for that to change. Yukoners need a strong voice that will speak up for our healthcare system.”
When the new formula was announced, six territorial and provincial finance ministers denounced its content and the heavy-handed, one-sided way it was delivered. Ontario’s Finance Minister called it “an unprecedented change in how we are going to deal with the fiscal arrangements in the federation.” Northwest Territories’ Finance Minister called it a “hand grenade that was tossed on the table.” Pasloski instead defended the formula handed down by his political friends in Ottawa.
“A sustainable pubic healthcare system requires a sufficient funding commitment from the federal government,” said Hanson.
“It’s time for Premier Pasloski to stand up to Ottawa, defend the interests of Yukoners, and demand a better deal for healthcare. It’s also time to show leadership here at home by changing Yukon’s healthcare system to put patients first. A team-based collaborative care model, a better deal on prescription drugs and more appropriate care for chronic conditions are just a few examples that could save money and provide better care.”
In addition to releasing reports of working groups formed to study healthcare innovation and the impacts of the federal funding formula, the Council of the Federation meeting will discuss infrastructure funding and economic development.