Politics Briefing: Feds open to providing more health care funding to provinces if effectively targeted


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is open to providing more money to the provinces for health care, but that he wants it effectively targeted to ensure the best results.

“We know there is a need for more long-term structural spending to go at some of the deep challenges faced by Canadians across the country,” Mr. Trudeau said Monday during a news conference in Victoria.

“We are very clear there will be significantly more money from the federal government in health care, but we’ve seen in the past, in decades past, that just more money into health care, even from the federal government, doesn’t necessarily lead to the right outcomes or better outcomes for Canadians.”

For this reason, Mr. Trudeau told reporters that his government is engaged in talks with the Council of the Federation, representing Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers, notably British Columbia Premier John Horgan, who is the chair of the council.

In coverage of the federal budget last week, Health Reporter Carly Weeks noted that the Canada Health Transfer to provinces and territories will be $45.2-billion in 2022-23, which the government says is an increase, but falls far short of what provinces and territories have been requesting. Canada’s premiers have been lobbying for the federal government to increase its contribution to health care costs to 35 per cent from 22 per cent.

Ms. Weeks’s report is here.

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RUSSIA SYSTEMATICALLY TARGETING UKRAINE CIVILIANS: TRUDEAU – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Russia is systematically targeting civilians in Ukraine and restated Canada’s commitment to accept an unlimited number of Ukrainians who are fleeing the violence. Story here.

AFGHAN SECURITY GUARD STRANDED IN KABUL – An Afghan security guard who was twice wounded and decorated for protecting the Canadian embassy in Kabul has been stranded in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August, his appeals for help from Canada left unanswered. Story here.

NEW CANADIAN SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA ANNOUNCED – Canada is targeting Russia’s defence industry with its latest round of sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. Story here.


BANK OF CANADA EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE RATE HIKE – The Bank of Canada is expected to announce its first oversized interest-rate hike in more than two decades this week after hawkish comments from the country’s top central bankers and growing signs that the economy is overheating. Story here.

HUMAN-RIGHTS COALITION RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA – A coalition of human-rights groups is asking a federal watchdog to investigate allegations that some products sold by 14 Canadian companies are made in whole or in part with forced labour in China. Story here.

END IS NEAR FOR PANDEMIC SUPPORTS FOR BUSINESSES – The federal government’s pandemic supports for businesses may end next month, as Ottawa looks to wind down two years of emergency spending. Story here.

LIBERAL CONVENTION SCHEDULED IN 2023 – Liberals plan to gather for a national convention in Ottawa in the spring of next year. The Liberal Party of Canada says the convention, to take place in the national capital May 4-6, 2023, will also include some virtual participation. Story here.

MANITOBA PREMIER CHOOSING SAFE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA: OBSERVERS – In Manitoba, Premier Heather Stefanson’s legislative agenda has so far been rather modest, political observers say, with her Progressive Conservative government introducing 26 pieces of legislation up to this point in the spring sitting of the Manitoba legislature. One expert noted the proposed changes are hardly impactful to many people. Story here from CBC.

KENNEY MAKES THE CASE FOR SUPPORT – Premier Jason Kenney, in a weekend speech to party members deciding his fate, told them he is an unblemished election winner who saved Alberta from servitude in a dystopian socialist hellscape. Story here.

FIXER SAYS HE WAS HIRED TO SECURE REPORTER’S PHONE LOGS – A self-described political fixer says a former Alberta justice minister hired him to obtain a reporter’s phone logs. Story here from CBC.

WRONGDOING BY PUBLIC SERVANTS TRACKED – A public service director who made racist comments and who promoted an employee they were in a relationship with and a federal department’s internal integrity and security office that broke the government’s contracting rules are among the examples of wrongdoings discovered by the federal government in 2020-2021 year, according to its latest annual report on allegations and investigations into wrongdoing by public servants. Story here from The National Post.


CHAREST STEPS UP ATTACKS ON POILIEVRE – Jean Charest is escalating his attacks on Pierre Poilievre in the Conservative Party leadership race, saying the Conservative MP’s ardent support of this year’s trucker convoy should disqualify him as a candidate for national leadership. Story here.

DE JONG BACKS POILIEVRE – Pierre Poilievre has picked up a key endorsement in British Columbia. Former B.C. finance minister Michael de Jong, a member of the legislature from the Fraser Valley southeast of Vancouver for the last 24 years, spoke at Mr. Poilievre’s rally in Langley on Sunday. “As a former Finance Minister, it’s clear we need to bring back fiscal sanity and common sense to the country’s finances. From my perspective, [Mr. Poilievre] is the guy to do just that!” Mr. de Jong said in a tweet. During the 16 years that the BC Liberal were in power, ending in 2017, Mr. de Jong held several cabinet posts under two premiers – Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark – including attorney-general, aboriginal relations, solicitor-general and health. Rob Shaw of The Daily Hive reports here on Mr. Poilievre’s visit to B.C.< /p>


TODAY IN THE COMMONS – The House is adjourned until Monday, April 25, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).

ROYAL VISIT TO CANADA LOOMING – The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will visit Canada in May to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The trip will include stops in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa, Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories said a Monday posting on the official Twitter account of the royal couple. A statement from the Governor-General Mary Simon said the detailed itinerary of the 2022 Royal Tour will be published by the federal heritage department. This will be the 19th visit to Canada for The Prince of Wales and the fifth visit for The Duchess of Cornwall. The couple’s most recent Royal Tour to Canada was conducted from June 29 to July 1, 2017. They visited Iqaluit, Nunavut; Trenton, Wellington and Ottawa, Ontario; and Gatineau, Quebec.

CALEY GETS NEW JOB – Braeden Caley, the departing senior communications director for the federal Liberal party has a new job. Mr. Caley is to take on the role of executive director at Canada 2020, an independent progressive think tank founded in 2006. He starts his new job in May. Mr. Caley recently announced he was leaving his post with the Liberals after six years.

JOLY IN INDONESIA AND VIETNAM – Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly is visiting Indonesia and Vietnam through Thursday to, according to her department, reinforce bilateral relations and engage with nations throughout the region as part of the forthcoming Canadian Indo-Pacific Strategy. She has scheduled meetings in Indonesia with officials including Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, and, in Vietnam, will meet with officials including Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.


On Monday’s edition of The Decibel, Canadian actor and filmmaker Sarah Polley appears on the occasion of the publication of her first book, Run Towards the Danger in which she explores some of the most difficult moments of her life. The Decibel is here.


In Greater Victoria, the Prime Minister held private meetings and made an announcement highlighting federal budget investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, then held a news conference. The Prime Minister was scheduled to then meet with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, and members of the City of Victoria Youth Advisory Council. The Prime Minister also did an interview on CFAX 1070′s Mornings with Al Ferraby.


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in the Vancouver region, was scheduled to meet with representatives of the Canadian Cancer Society to NDP health policy, and to meet with locked-out workers at the Hilton Metrotown hotel as well as the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre.

No schedules released for other party leaders.


In a new Data Dive, pollster Nik Nanos finds that, for Canadians, the only certainty is uncertainty as COVID-19, inflation and war in Ukraine are interrelated problems that have made Canadians much more anxious about the future and their livelihoods. The Dive is here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on why the West cannot let Russian President Vladimir Putin outlast it in Ukraine:But Mr. Putin’s invasion – the first of a sovereign European country since the Second World War – has reawakened the West and reinforced the value of the treaties and institutions that have preserved peace and liberal democracy in Europe for almost 80 years. As war in Ukraine wears on, it is critical that the West remain emboldened and united, and build on what it has done so far. Let there be a silver lining in this disaster.”

Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on Ottawa still giving financial criminals the kid-glove treatment: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to have a fleeting sense of urgency when it comes to fighting financial crime. Sure, his government slapped down those hooligan truckers by invoking the Emergencies Act to choke off funding for their so-called freedom convoy. But new proposals contained in the federal budget – ostensibly to bolster our anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist-financing regime in the wake of those blockades – still offer kid-glove treatment to sophisticated financial criminals.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on the launch of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s pre-election gift-giving bonanza: You can tell an election is in the air in Ontario. The birds are singing, the Liberals are stirring up their quadrennial panic about the privatization of health care, and the incumbent government is offering a plethora of gifts in the hopes that voters will forget about past unpleasantness and again choose to lend them their support. Indeed, the Progressive Conservatives’ hope is that you just look past that whole patronage scandal thing, forget about that time the government tried to ban playgrounds, disregard how Premier Doug Ford promised to protect long-term care homes and then did nothing, and put it out of mind that the government wasted money on license plates you can’t see in the dark.”

Steve Paikin (TVO) on Ontario’s first female premier bidding farewell to the legislature: “As all members of the legislature rose to give Wynne a standing ovation (including Hudak, who came to see his former foe, now friend, give her farewell address), something suddenly occurred to her. Wynne realized that she’d thanked her parents, her kids, their spouses, her grandchildren, her political mentors, her riding association executive, her army of volunteers, her campaign advisers, her chiefs of staff — but not her partner, Jane Rounthwaite, who was watching from the public gallery.”

Editors note: Ms. Wynne’s full speech is in the section of Hansard available here.

André Pratte (The Toronto Sun) on why Conservatives will not vote for Pierre Poilievre: Fortunately, members of the Conservative Party of Canada know that American-style, polarizing politics will not work in Canada. The way to a majority government is in broadening the tent with a leader who stands on the shoulders of our great prime ministers of the past, from John A. Macdonald to Stephen Harper. What we surely don’t need is some Don Quix
ote who chases mythical “gatekeepers” and sees the solution to our economic difficulties in replacing the Canadian dollar, one of the world’s most respected currency, with obscure and unstable “cryptocurrencies.”

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