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Alberta ready to pursue health-care reforms without federal money, premier says

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Alberta’s premier says she’s not waiting for federal money to reform her province’s health-care system.

“I think they've been pretty clear they are not coming to the table,” Danielle Smith said on CTV News Channel’s Power Play with Vassy Kapelos on Monday when asked if she thinks federal funding will come through.

“I can't stop the health-care reforms that I need to do on the basis of hoping the federal government is going to be our funding partner,” she added.

Last November, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government would be ready to increase its share of the Canada Health Transfer – the long-term, predictable funding for health care Ottawa gives to provinces and territories – if the provinces and territories were willing to commit to conditions such as a national health data system. Duclos also said the government would be willing to make tailor-made agreements with the provinces and territories.

The premiers have long maintained their calls for funding without any conditions. Smith told host Vassy Kapelos she’s “happy to join in the voices of the premiers.”

Last year, the premiers called on the prime minister to meet with them early this year, but Smith says she’s ready to act with or without federal dollars.

“I’ve got to make the reforms,” she said.

Smith discusses health care with Kapelos in the video at the top of this article. 

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