Wall says Quebec won't be missed in premiers health group
Quebec 'more of a distraction... than a constructive partner,' Saskatchewan co-chair says
The Canadian Press
Posted: Feb 5, 2013 9:23 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2013 9:31 PM ET
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says it's not surprising that Quebec has pulled out of a national health-care committee set up by the provinces.
Nor will it hinder further progress, said Wall, who chairs the group with Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz.
"As of late, Quebec has been more of a distraction at this table than a constructive partner," Wall said Tuesday in an email released to The Canadian Press by his office.
"We have been making significant progress in areas like joint purchase of generic drugs, sharing best practices, bending health-care cost curves and improving patient care without a lot of input from Quebec."
The premier was not available for further comment.
Quebec left to 'concentrate on own priorities'
Quebec's decision to pull out of the group was made public Monday. It had been quietly announced in a letter dated Jan. 11 and signed by Health Minister Rejean Hebert and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Alexandre Cloutier. Quebec said it intended to concentrate on its own priorities.
"What we're saying is simply that we don't want to add to existing structures. We want an efficient government. Health care is a responsibility of the Quebec government," Cloutier said in an interview Tuesday with The Canadian Press.
"We're ready to co-operate, to share information. We certainly don't want to duplicate activities that already exist, with an increased role for the federal government.
"It's a working group that established priorities not shared by the government of Quebec."
The health-care group was created in January 2012 by the Council of the Federation. The federation was created in 2003 by premiers — including former Quebec premier Jean Charest, a staunch federalist — to promote interprovincial and territorial co-operation.
The health group's goal is to look at better ways to deliver health care and keep it sustainable.
Quebec not joining generic drug deal
Last month, Wall announced the provinces would bulk buy six widely used generic drugs. He suggested the initiative could save provincial and territorial drug plans up to $100 million once it is fully implemented. Quebec was the only province to say it would not take part.
Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said working together has produced good results for Canadians.
Although provinces are responsible for health-care delivery, "we've agreed over the years on everything from an information highway ... to the possibility ... if we start adding more and more drug coverage, we could start moving towards better shared purchases," said Mulcair.
"That could be one of the possibilities to reduce costs on a very strapped system right now, so one would always hope to see everyone work together on these issues."
Latest Montreal News Headlines
- CBC's Top Tweets: How are you dealing with the boil water advisory?
- CBC asked members of the twitterverse to share how they're dealing with the City of Montreal's boil water advisory. more »
- 1-day Quebec private daycare strike affects 25,000 kids
- Thousands of parents are finding alternate babysitting arrangements in the face of a one-day walkout by about half of the 600 private, subsidized daycares in Quebec, with the strike affecting about 25,000 kids. more »
- Aretha Franklin cancels Canadian shows
- Aretha Franklin is extending her current break and has cancelled performances for the month of June, including apperances in Montreal and Ottawa. more »
- Conrad Black defends Harper's former chief of staff
- Conrad Black tells Jian Ghomeshi of CBC's Q radio program that he doesn't believe the prime minister's former chief of staff did anything wrong by writing a personal cheque to Senator Mike Duffy for ineligible expenses. more »
Top News Headlines
- Liberals allege interference in 'tainted' Duffy report
- Liberal Senator Jim Munson, a member of the Senate's internal economy committee that dealt with Senator Mike Duffy's expenses audit, says an original report on the audit was changed and alleges the Prime Minister's Office may have had something to do with the "whitewash." more »
- Ford ally says mayor told to limit comments on alleged crack video
- Legal advice may be behind Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's decision to stay silent in the wake of allegations he was recorded smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. more »
- 'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
- Sharlene Bosma told more than 1,000 people at the public memorial service for her slain husband, Tim Bosma, about the love they shared. more »
- Oklahoma residents begin to return home after deadly tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of nine children. more »
- Over 1 million Montrealers face boil water advisory
- 'Lightly felt' earthquake west of Montreal
- Molotov cocktail targets St. Léonard business for 2nd time
- Taking a look at graffiti tagging hotspots in Montreal
- Crucifix to stay in National Assembly: Drainville
- Service restored on Montreal metro lines
- Thousands push for rejection of Bill 14
- Daniel Ratthé eager to return to CAQ caucus
- Quebecer dead in Mexico after scuba diving incident