Canadian local leaders urge federal government for more financial

TORONTO (Xinhua) – Canada’s 10 provincial and three territorial premiers agreed on Monday to ask the federal government to increase health care funding and for more cash to help provinces suffering from economic downturns.

In a joint statement issued after their meeting in Toronto, the premiers said Canadian health care has reached a crisis point and the federal government needs to do much more to help provinces and territories pay for their largest budget line item.

They called on the government to raise the current health care spending growth cap from three per cent each year to 5.2 per cent to help provinces and territories better address mounting costs in the sector as the country’s population ages.

They want to see changes to the country’s fiscal stabilisation programme, which provides cash to provinces and territories facing economic hardship, suggesting removing a cap on the per capita limit on aid, the statement said. The local leaders also called for expanding international trade to allow natural resources to get to global markets and urged the government to tackle protectionist measures by the United States.

They sent a letter on Monday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlining their demands and will meet with him as early as January.