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‘If Health Care is Slow, Thank Trudeau:’ Manitoba Premier Responds to Throne Speech

September 24, 2020 1:57 PM | The Canadian Press

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Brian Pallister

Manitoba premier Brian Pallister does not respond to a reporter’s question as he makes his way to question period at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s premier is criticizing the federal government’s throne speech saying it ignores health-care funding during a pandemic.

Brian Pallister says it is a crucial time in Canada’s history and the need for health care has never been greater.

The premier says wait times will continue to grow if Ottawa doesn’t’ become a better partner in funding health care.

Wednesday’s throne speech included a long list of promises for spending on things such as child care, extended wage subsidies and new federal standards for seniors in long-term care.

The government promised to do whatever it takes to fulfil the health needs of Canadians and that it was not the time for austerity.

But Pallister says calls from premiers last week for a $28-billion increase in health-care funding have been ignored.

“If health care is slow, thank Trudeau,” Pallister said Thursday

At the same time, Pallister said the federal Liberals need to ensure their spending isn’t reckless extravagance.

He is urging Ottawa to eliminate interprovincial trade barriers and invest in shovel-ready infrastructure. But he says Ottawa “can’t just throw money at every single thing.”

“Now is the time to invest in people,” Pallister says. “But invest with a focus.”

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