HALIFAX, July 27, 2012 /CNW/ - In January 2012, Premiers appointed a
working group of provincial and territorial Finance Ministers, to be
led by Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, to assess the impact of the
proposed changes by the federal government to major transfers to
provinces and territories.
At their summer meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Premiers discussed the
results of the analysis by the Fiscal Arrangements Working Group. The
report shows that:
For health, the federal government's Canada Health Transfer (CHT) will
be reduced by almost $36 billion, in total, over the 10-year period
from 2014/15 to 2023/24 compared to the arrangements currently in
place. This will bring the federal share of health care costs to less
than 20 per cent, compared to about 50 per cent originally.
In the shorter term, the 5-year period from 2014/15 to 2018/19,
provinces and territories will receive, in total, about $23 billion
less than under the current arrangements, with the CHT accounting for
about $7 billion of the reduction and Equalization accounting for about
$16 billion. The Working Group did not estimate Equalization
implications beyond 2018/19.
With the global economic recovery still fragile, Premiers highlighted
the efforts all governments are undertaking to ensure fiscal
responsibility, while working to protect and sustain Canadians'
essential public services, including health care, education, and social
services. Premiers stressed the need for the federal government to
meaningfully consult provinces and territories before making changes to
the major federal transfer programs that support fiscal federalism.
Premier Selinger, Alberta Premier Alison Redford and New Brunswick
Premier David Alward will chair a meeting of provincial and territorial
Finance Ministers in Fall 2012 to continue discussions on options for
fiscal arrangements which meet the principles outlined by Premiers at
their January 2012 meeting. Those principles are:
to find solutions that work for the benefit of all Canadians in all
provinces and territories;
that every province and territory must be able to provide its citizens
with reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably
comparable levels of taxation;
that no jurisdiction should be made worse off; and
that Canada's fiscal arrangements should be a win-win for all Canadians
regardless of where they live.
Premiers will work on proposals to modernize fiscal arrangements. They
stressed the need for formal discussions between federal, provincial
and territorial governments before modifications are made to any of the
major federal transfer programs, as these constitute the pillars of
Canadian fiscal federalism.
SOURCE: Council of the Federation
For further information:
Executive Council Office
Government of Nova Scotia