Manitoba

Pallister confident federal health dollars will flow to Manitoba

Manitoba may be the lone holdout on signing the federal health accord, but Premier Brian Pallister believes the province will get funding for mental health and home care projects.

Cash for mental health and home care on the way to the rest of the provinces

Premier Brian Pallister (centre) says "it would just be wrong" to create two-tier funding for mental health and home care. (CBC News )

Manitoba may be the lone holdout on signing the federal health accord, but Premier Brian Pallister believes the province will nevertheless get funding for mental health and home care projects.

On a visit to Winnipeg yesterday federal Health Minister Janet Philpott was asked when the money would start to flow to the provinces that had signed the accord. 

"We have very recently come to a common understanding with all the other provinces and territories on the framework around the types of projects on home care and mental health they are going to be doing, and we've proceeded with instructions for the money to begin to flow," Philpott said at news conference on Thursday.

Pallister doesn't believe his go-it-alone tactic will result in being punished by the federal Liberal government.

"I don't think that the health minister, any health minister of the federal government would threaten a province with a reduction of support for mental health money or home care money," the premier said Friday.

The premier says that despite not reaching a deal with Ottawa, he's confident Manitoba will get what the other provinces are about to receive.

"I'm sure that the federal minister will want to make sure there is equitable funding for two important areas ... it wouldn't make sense for a federal government to fund differentially," Pallister said.

Philpott says the door is still open for Manitoba to sign on and get the extra transfers from Ottawa.

"We are always open to conversations," Philpott said. "I had a great conversation with [Manitoba Health] Minister [Kelvin] Goertzen today and continue to have a dialogue and always keep the health needs of the people of Manitoba and the rest of the country at the forefront," Philpott said.

Beyond funding for mental health and home care, Manitoba is also seeking extra money for Indigenous health issues and funding for diabetes.

Other provinces and territories have since signed their own side deals, with each province receiving extra funding for specific regional issues. 

Despite not signing the health accord, Manitoba will still see an increase of approximately three per cent each year in health-care funding over the course of the health transfer from Ottawa.

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