Gaétan Barrette says Quebec will 'stay strong' as 3 provinces ink health funding deals with Ottawa
Health minister has been a lead voice against Ottawa's offer during negotiations
Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette says there's a "strong majority" now opposing the federal government's health care transfer offer after three provinces decided to ink deals.
On Thursday, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador joined New Brunswick in accepting the Trudeau government's offer of funding for home care and mental health services over the next decade.
We moved from a weak unanimity to a strong majority. Our talk's straight, facts undisputed, not misleading cdn: LESS IS NEVER MORE! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash">#cdnpoli</a>—@drgbarrette
In an interview with CBC, Barrette said he was disappointed with the Atlantic provinces, but added they were less committed to tough negotiations.
"I still don't understand how any premier will sign a deal that will decrease funding for health care and at the same time believe that it will improve access," he said.
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Barrette has been one of the lead voices against the federal government's offer during the health negotiations. He says anything less than a 5.2 per cent annual increase in health transfer payments amounts to a cut.
All three provinces that have signed deals agreed to a three per cent per year increase or the rate of growth of nominal GDP, whichever is higher.
Do <a href="https://twitter.com/Bill_Morneau">@Bill_Morneau</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/janephilpott">@janephilpott</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau">@JustinTrudeau</a> care about canadians when they decrease health care funding? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash">#cdnpoli</a>—@drgbarrette
According to Barrette, the federal government is "misleading Canadians by saying they'll have better access" under the funding plans.
Quebecers not lured by deal
Barrette said that he will take it day by day but that the province will "stay strong" in negotiations.
He believes Quebecers will back his position.
"Quebecers do understand the simple math of those things," he said.
"They understand that we are being lured into a deal that really means that it's going to be less care."