During the federal election, I noted in a Toronto Star op-ed that the federal Conservative platform entails significant fiscal costs for provincial governments. I accepted the Conservatives’ promise to continue the 6% escalator for the Canada Health Transfer, but worried that they might cut other transfers of similar value.
Today, the Finance Minister unveiled plans to discontinue the Canada Health Transfer’s 6% escalator (via a press release entitled, “Harper Government Announces Major New Investment in Health Care”). So, I was right to flag fiscal federalism as an area of concern under another Conservative government, but I underestimated the directness of the threat.
Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate.