Federal health care funding a ‘proposal’, says Pasloski

Yukon's premier said he considers the federal finance minister's health care funding plan to be a 'proposal'.

Yukon's premier Darrell Pasloski said he considers the federal finance minister's health care funding plan to be a ‘proposal’.

Pasloski said Jim Flaherty surprised the country's finance ministers this week when he announced the federal government's plan.

Flaherty told them the provinces and territories will get six per cent annual increases for health transfer payments until 2017. In 2018, increases will be tied to the country’s gross domestic product plus inflation.

But Pasloski said he expects they'll work together on a new agreement.

Yukon's premier Darrell Pasloski says the federal finance minister's controversial health care transfer announcement this week is a 'proposal'. (The Canadian Press)

"Negotiations start with somebody putting something out there. We have two years and three months left on this agreement so they've put out a proposal and now we have some time, something on the table that we can now discuss," said Pasloski.

But Pasloski said he agrees that Canada can’t keep funding health care at the current rate.

"Everybody acknowledges that we can’t continue to put six per cent more every year than the previous year into health care… We’ve got five more years that we have six per cent growth, and to be able to work out what we need to do and how we’re going to do it to ensure we can be sustainable," he said.

Pasloski said he and the other two northern finance ministers, the N.W.T.’s Michael Miltenberger and Nunavut’s Keith Peterson, met with Flaherty to talk about northern health-care money.

He said they told Flaherty they want the money tied into the new health accord so they don’t have to go back to the table every two years.

Pasloski expects the issue will be a big topic at next month's Premiers' meeting in Victoria.