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Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Last Updated Jun 17, 2021 at 7:42 pm MDT

The Peace Tower is pictured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, as lawmakers return to the House of Commons following the winter break. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Canada’s premiers are reiterating a call for more federal health care funding.

Following a conference call, the premiers issued a statement asking the federal government to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent.

Earlier in the week, the western premiers agreed to push the federal government to lay out a detailed plan and timeline to reopen international borders.

With COVID-19 numbers dropping, the provincial and territorial leaders are planning to meet in person in October.

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Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who is taking over as chair of the Council of the Federation, says he and his colleagues will gather in Winnipeg, with appropriate public health measures in place.

Health care and the economy are expected to be key themes of that get-together.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, our focus will be on restoring economic growth and our health systems,” Pallister said in a written statement.

“We urgently need a long-term federal funding partnership so provinces and territories can address crucial health priorities, such as reducing wait times and backlogs of medical treatments and surgeries.”