Re: “Screeching left” by Reed Elley
Like many, if not all, politicians, past and present, Mr. Elley likes to use a careful selection of facts in defence of his party. His condescending defence of the health care spending of the Conservative government under Prime Minister Harper is a clear example. While it is true that spending increased under this government, it bears further examination.
In 2004 the Liberal government at the time signed a Health Care Accord with the provinces that increased the share of spending from the federal government to 20 per cent from a miserable nine per cent in order to reduce wait times for the thousands of people who were waiting over a year for surgical procedures and MRIs.
Then in 2011, the “Harper Government” indicated that it would not renew the accord when it expired in 2014 and under its plan would reduce their share of spending by $36 billion over the next 10 years. This cut will result in a contribution level by the federal government in 2017 of only three per cent! Three per cent — A historical low in contributions to the provinces for health car costs.
So, while it is true that spending did increase in the first seven years under Harper, it happened because of the accord for which he was not responsible and then took the first opportunity available to cut the spending which will result in $36 billion less over then next 10 years.