Politics

Canada election 2015: Trudeau promises 'true partnership' with provinces

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says if elected prime minister on Oct. 19, he would commit to negotiating a long-term health-care funding agreement with the provinces and territories. He also pledged to hold annual first ministers' meetings.

Pledges to hold annual first ministers' meetings

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promises to hold annual first ministers' meetings. The last such meeting was held in early 2009, when the prime minister and premiers gathered to discuss the economy. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says if elected prime minister on Oct. 19, he would commit to negotiating a long-term health-care funding agreement with the provinces and territories.

He also pledged to hold annual first ministers' meetings. The last such meeting was in early 2009, when the prime minister and premiers gathered to discuss the economy.

In a letter to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Trudeau talked of a "renewed partnership for health" with improved access to and quality of health care across the country.

The Liberal leader also promised to review the terms of equalization, taking into consideration the country's tax framework.

Trudeau is the first federal party leader in the campaign to respond to a letter sent last week by Couillard in which the premier asked for a clear commitment form the leaders on issues as health care and equalization payments.

"The challenges we face cannot be solved only from Ottawa," he said in the letter obtained by Radio-Canada on Saturday, adding that these challenges "require a true partnership between the federal government and the provinces."

On the Liberals' Senate reform plan, Trudeau said it could be implemented without having to dive back into lengthy constitutional negotiations.

Earlier in the campaign that began three weeks ago, Trudeau said a Liberal government would reform the Senate by bringing in a merit-based appointment process.

With files from Radio-Canada

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