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Legault, Ford call on Ottawa to increase health transfers to provinces

Last Updated Sep 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm EDT

Ontario Premier Doug Ford stands alongside Quebec Premier Francois Legault, as he speaks to the media, at the start of the Ontario-Quebec Summit, in Toronto, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The premiers of Ontario and Quebec are calling on Ottawa to increase health transfers to the provinces, saying sustainable, long-term funding is required on top of the federal COVID-19 relief to address health-care issues that predate the pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced the request today after meeting in Mississauga, Ont., to discuss economic recovery and health preparedness.

The two leaders say they have not set a dollar amount for the support they’re seeking from the federal government, but believe a significant increase in the Canada Health Transfer is needed.

The pair also says they agreed to press Ottawa for funding on other issues affecting economic recovery, such as infrastructure and transit.

Ford and Legault say they also plan to work together to reduce barriers to international trade.

Both provinces’ ministers of health, finance and infrastructure also participated in the summit, along with other officials.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press