Manitoba prepared to stand alone in health-care fight with Ottawa: Pallister



Manitoba is not worried about being the last province standing in a health-funding dispute with Ottawa and will not be rushed into accepting any deals, Premier Brian Pallister said Monday.


“We’re standing alone. I’m not afraid of that and I’m not anything but proud of the fact we’re willing to do that,” Pallister told reporters.


“I’m not going to be intimidated by a threat and I’m not going to be worried about other people’s deadlines. The reality is, for Manitobans, we need (federal) support and partnership.”


Manitoba became the final holdout last week, when the federal government signed bilateral health agreements with Quebec, Ontario and Alberta after months of heated negotiations.


The dispute started last fall, when Ottawa said it would limit annual health-transfer increases to three per cent a year — half the six per cent annual increase set out in the last long-term agreement with the provinces.


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