Premier Couillard's government will table its first budget on June 4 and early signs suggest it's not going to be business as usual.
health care spending
Having spent itself into a considerable deficit problem, the Alberta government seems to be considering a sales tax as part of its plan to dig provincial finances out of the red (or at least theyre trying to start a discussion to that end). The alternative, were led to believe, is fewer and lower-quality public services due to obligatory spending cuts. A closer look at the facts suggests thats not the only option available.
Instead, they could choose a win-win scenario that improves health care while reducing waste and inefficiency.
If history is any guide, Ontario voters should not expect meaningful discussion of health policy during the upcoming provincial election campaign. Indeed, none of the party leaders have so far offered any feasible solutions to one of the provinces most pressing challenges - the unsustainable growth of government health care spending.
Six weeks ago, on this page, I lamented Roy Romanows failure to propose creative reforms to our countrys health care system. He simply demanded $15 billion more federal transfers to provinces, while expanding government monopoly into national homecare and a program to cover catastrophic pharmaceutical expenses. Its not clear how he came up with the figure. Perhaps he just multiplied the $15 million cost of his Commission by one thousand?