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Freedom Party of Ontario



Attn: Newsroom

Ontario Health Care Politics: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

April 13, 2005 - Oshawa Ontario

On April 4, 2000, the Premier of Ontario, Mr Harris made the following motion in the Ontario Legislature:

"That the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario:

"(a) Condemns the government of Canada for cutting, by $4.2 billion annually, base payments under the federal program that supports health care, the CHST, while provincial governments have increased health spending;

"(b) Urges the government of Canada to repudiate the statement attributed to a spokesperson for the federal finance minister, the Honourable Paul Martin, that increasing health funding would be `just shovelling money into a hole that's going to open right back up again';

"(c) Urges the government of Canada immediately to restore permanently the health funding that it has cut, and to assume its fair share of increased, ongoing funding to meet the health needs of our country's aging and growing population; and

"(d) Reminds the federal health minister, the Honourable Allan Rock, that the sincerity of his commitment to medicare and the principles of the Canada Health Act would be best demonstrated not by idle rhetoric and vague words, but by restoring the health funding he has cut."

Five years ago yesterday, on April 12, 2000, after days of debate in which the government was accused of having passed the buck and used alleged federal underfunding as a distraction, a recorded vote was held on the motion. Among the 'Nays': Dalton McGuinty, George Smithman, and other Liberal MPPs. (see http://www.ontla.on.ca/hansard/house_debates/37_parl/session1/L041.htm#P71_16304)

With adscam testimony already sending federal Liberal polling numbers into a free-fall, the Premier yesterday - on April 12, 2005 - seized the opportunity to pass the buck and use alleged federal underfunding as a distraction: the Premier suggested that the Prime Minister's refusal to kick $5-billion of federal revenues into provincial coffers means that the federal government has lost touch with the people. Specifically, the Premier said that "One of the things you've got to do is stay in touch with your electorate, and the people of Ontario are saying we have an issue here...I find it rather puzzling that an issue that resonates really well with the people of Ontario has yet to resonate well with the federal Liberal Party."

It was right for Mr. McGuinty's Liberals (and the NDP) not to help the Ontario's Progressive Conservative government to deflect responsibility for healthcare's woes in 2000. Having voted correctly on the motion in 2000, one can only hope that Premier McGuinty has taken a moment on the fifth anniversary of that vote to recognize the hypocrisy of his current, misguided course of political action. And, one can only hope that Ontario opposition leader John Tory will take a moment to read Hansard in respect of the April 4, 2000 motion and to re-consider his similarly misguided advocacy of a raid on the federal purse.

Freedom Party has posted the full text of the several days of debate on Premier Harris' April 4, 2000 motion on its web site at:


This media release has been sent to all major print, radio, and television media.

For further information, contact Freedom Party of Ontario's leader, Paul McKeever:

Office: 905-721-9772


Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario N6A 4E3
1-(800)-830-3301 / (519) 681-3999
FAX: (519) 681-2857