P.E.I. premier feeling no pressure that New Brunswick signed health care deal

Premier Wade MacLauchlan said P.E.I. is not concerned that New Brunswick has already signed a health care agreement with the federal government.

New Brunswick reached $230 million, 10-year funding increase on Thursday

Premier Wade MacLauchlan said Thursday the province's focus is to reach the best long-term agreement with the federal government. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Hours after the New Brunswick government reached a deal on Thursday with the federal government that would see health care funding increase by $230 million over 10 years, Premier Wade MacLauchlan said he's not concerned that P.E.I. hasn't yet reached a deal.

MacLauchlan said the focus is to reach the best long-term agreement for P.E.I. and deliver health care services. 

He also noted that P.E.I. was one of the last provinces to agree to Medicare when it was originally formed.

Best long-term agreement for P.E.I.

"Because we wanted to take our time and make sure we were discerning about it," he explained. "And, it worked out well that time around and I think that's how I've to got to conduct myself or the way we, as a province, have to aim for there to be arrangements to serve us best."

On Monday, talks with the provinces and the federal government ended. The federal government offered $11.5 billion for home care and mental health support. The provinces rejected that offer and the federal government said the offer is not longer available.

"Our concern has always been for the sustainability and for the real partnership between the provinces and the federal government and, ultimately for our ability to deliver effective health care for Prince Edward Islanders in a context where there are rising needs," MacLauchlan said.

"So, that's where we were on Monday and that's where we are on Thursday."

New Brunswick's bilateral agreement with the federal government will see annual funding increase by an estimated 4.1 per cent. The federal government offered the provinces 3.5 per cent while the provinces countered with 5.2 per cent. If another province reaches a better deal, then the N.B. government can adopt those terms.

Asked about the next steps or if any meetings are upcoming, MacLauchlan suggested that nothing would happen until after Christmas.

With files from Sally Pitt