Independence to benefit healthcare: Parti Québécois
MONTREAL - The Parti Québécois calculates that Quebec independence would bring a bigger windfall for the province’s health-care network.
That’s because Quebec would control where taxpayers’ money goes in the health system rather than have to live by the funding rules set by Ottawa, PQ candidate Réjean Hébert, the party’s point person on health, said at a whistle-stop in Repentigny Saturday morning.
In its latest federal budget, the Harper government changed the funding rules, transforming the Canada Health Transfer to the provinces into a straight per capita payment to the provinces based on the number of residents. The change penalizes Quebec, which has a more rapidly aging population than some other provinces, Hébert said. A study has pegged the shortfall at “many tens of millions of dollars,” he added.
The federal government also decided to limit the size of transfer payments to the gross domestic product, which means the payments will grow less during a period of economic recession. The federal level till now boosted those transfer payments by about six per cent a year, the PQ says. The new formula is expected to limit the increases to around 3.9 per cent between 2017 and 2024. That represents a loss of about $9.5 billion over 10 years, the party says.
“So we think the federal government is really an obstacle to really invest the money of Quebecers in the right direction, in the right programs,” he said.