National standards for long-term care homes unacceptable, says Quebec

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard says Ottawa's desire to create such standards amounts to interference in health care, which is a provincial responsibility.

CP-Web. Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard presents an economic update, Thursday, November 12, 2020 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot ORG XMIT: jqb115

QUEBEC — The federal government’s fiscal update is a disappointment to the Legault government, but Quebec has not given up the battle for a larger federal health-care transfer, Finance Minister Eric Girard said Tuesday.

At a morning news conference, Girard said Ottawa’s desire to create national standards for long-term care homes — known as CHSLDs in Quebec — amounts to interference in health care, which is a provincial responsibility.

The plan was restated Monday in Ottawa’s update. Most COVID-19 deaths have occurred in such homes.

“It’s unacceptable, it has to be said,” Girard said. “It’s unacceptable for Quebec and the other provinces.”

He added that if the federal government does proceed with creating a national child-care program or national drug insurance, Quebec will opt out because it already has those services.

Girard said he was not surprised the fiscal update did not include fresh cash transfers to the provinces for health.

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