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 8:23 PM CST
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2013 8:31 PM CST
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 Saskatchewan News Headlines
- Missing bell of Batoche reveal edges near, picture surfaces
- It looks like a significant piece of Canadian Metis history will soon be returned to public view after disappearing more than 20 years ago. more »
- Nostalgia for old tractors at Farm Progress Show
- Canada's Farm Progress Show, underway in Regina, includes a parade of tractors. more »
- High risk offender living in Regina
- Police in Regina want residents to be aware of a high risk offender living in a halfway house in the community. more »
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty
- Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report. more »
Top News Headlines
- Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy
- James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO's 'The Sopranos' helped create one of TV's greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, died Wednesday in Italy. He was 51. more »
- B.C. First Nation sets fires to save bison
- A First Nation band is reviving the age-old practice of controlled burning in order to improve the health of forests and restore the population of the wood bison in a corner of northeastern B.C. more »
- Canada buys rare War of 1812 collection for $573K
- The government of Canada was the winning bidder for a large collection of letters, maps and other papers that once belonged to Sir John Sherbrooke, the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia who conquered Maine for the British during the War of 1812. The collection sold for $573,000 at auction in London. more »
- Bob Rae quits as MP in 'very emotional' decision
- Bob Rae, who has represented the Toronto Centre riding for the Liberals since 2008, is stepping down as a Member of Parliament to devote more time to his work as a negotiator for First Nations in Northern Ontario. more »
- SGI won't pay to reprogram stolen truck keys
- 7 things Saskatchewan's auditor wants you to know
- Tearrius George spent winter working in Sask. oil patch
- New Regina south bypass route approved
- 1 year later: no resolution for Nigerian students in asylum
- Duck Lake school graduates record-breaking class
- Regina dog owners bring their furry friends to work
- Boy, 12, charged with arson
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty