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Quebec Premier François Legault, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister discussed provincial priorities for the upcoming federal throne speech at a press conference in Ottawa on Friday.
The Trudeau government's speech, which will lay out the Liberal Party's legislative agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 23.
All premiers stressed the importance of healthcare funding, with Ford requesting that healthcare funding be increased from 22 percent to 35 percent.
"The number one concern is healthcare," said Ford. "We're spending collectively with premiers, approximately $188 billion a year. Of that, the federal government is contributing $42 billion. This is not a knock against one particular political stripe or party. This has been going on for decades. As the demand is increasing... the support from the federal government is going down," said Ford.
"We're here asking the federal government: step up to the plate, we need 35 percent funding. That's $70 billion," stressed Ford. "We've seen healthcare costs escalate overwhelmingly throughout this pandemic... We can't sustain it," stressed Ford. "The system is broken, when it comes to healthcare."
All premiers sang similar tunes, with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney asking that Canada be there for the province at its time of need.
"Alberta is supposed to be a key part of this system that holds the country together. Albertans have been keeping their end of that bargain," said Kenney before noting that Albertans have contributed over $630 billion more to the rest of the country through federal taxes over the past five decades than the province has received back from Ottawa.
"Alberta has been there for Canada... Now Canada has to be there for Alberta, and for other provinces," said Kenney.