In January 2017, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette called on Quebecers to revolt against the Trudeau government, which flatly refused to increase the Canada health transfer (CHT) by 5.2%.
He accused the quarantine of federal Liberal members of Quebec to condone by their silence a “disinvestment” not without consequence in health matters. “They try to be beautiful, to be fine, to be intelligent, but from behind [ils font tomber le couperet en santé]. What is the consequence for citizens? It’s less services, “he said, before adding:” Call your deputation! You have federal MPs in Quebec who obviously do not speak for you in Ottawa. “
His call was not answered, much to his dismay. “Members of the federal government]don’t just have the big end of the stick. They have the whole stick, “he railed in the corridors of the Parliament Building.
The upcoming negotiations on the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) are likely to concern more people.
One thing is certain, an increase in the CHT will constitute one of the main demands of the Quebec government post-crisis of COVID-19, one mentions in the entourage of Prime Minister François Legault.
The health and social services network has emerged “weakened” from the relative decline in funding from Ottawa in recent years.
COVID-19’s “cursed virus” has highlighted gaps in the provision of care for the elderly, starting in residential and long-term care centers (CHSLDs).
The head of the federal government, Justin Trudeau, shocked the Quebec political class in late April, thinking aloud about a possible encroachment on an area of provincial jurisdiction. He had indeed mentioned the need to “have a reflection [sur la question de savoir] if our seniors’ residences were to be part of the health system and [être] governed by the Canada Health Act ”. He had subsequently rectified the situation, to the satisfaction of the team of François Legault, who promises to return soon to the charge in order to obtain greater financial participation from Ottawa in the health network, but also in infrastructure projects selected by Quebec.
Québec-Ottawa links strengthened
That said, the federal government, which has been described as “the government of too many” by more than one regular in the Honoré-Mercier building, has made a good impression on the Legault government in recent weeks.
Sounded by the blow struck by the new coronavirus, Justin Trudeau has since recovered, it is said.
The federal government has injected huge amounts of cash into the Canadian economy, notably through the Canada Emergency Benefit (CHP). The provinces first breathed a sigh of relief. They then had to limit the perverse effects of federal aid, starting with a decline in the attractiveness of low-wage essential jobs as beneficiary attendants or grocery clerks.
As the crisis subsides, the Quebec government expects Ottawa to consult more with the provinces in the future before announcing new initiatives.
Legault was still taken aback a few days ago when his federal counterpart, Justin Trudeau, who heads a minority government, suggested that Canadian workers be given 10 sick days. What will be the scope of the program? Who will foot the bill? Quebec was still ignoring it at the end of last week.
“Benefits of Federalism”
In addition, Ottawa has been of great help in the acquisition of medical protection equipment intended for Quebec health professionals, do we breathe in the ear of the Duty.
He then deployed some 1,300 members of the Armed Forces in around 20 CHSLDs at the express request of Mr. Legault. After saying he was embarrassed to have to call for help Ottawa to provide basic care to residents, the head of the Quebec government said that “Quebec is paying its share for the army.”
“The Prime Minister is continuing to learn the benefits of Canadian federalism, which he now adheres to,” launched the Parti Québécois parliamentary leader Pascal Bérubé, mocking him.
The federal, provincial and territorial Premiers update the war on COVID-19 by telephone at least once a week. The exchanges are “cordial”, we stress at Duty.
Quebec Minister of Canadian Relations, Sonia LeBel, is usually online. He sometimes continues to have discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, on one of the issues raised during the Prime Ministers’ exchange. “I have spoken with Chrystia Freeland at least once or twice a week since the onset of the crisis,” said Mme LeBel. Records of the Roxham Road closure during the pandemic, where foreigners ended up on Canadian soil, then sought asylum, and the intervention of the military caught his attention.
The probabilities of seeing the Quebec Prime Ministers, François Legault, and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, sing A chance that we have are however very thin.
The nationalist government was developing a new Canadian relations policy to crush the one left by the Couillard government. COVID-19 then launched its offensive. “The crisis has changed short-term priorities. However, traditional Quebec demands have not vanished, it says.