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Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Saskatchewan

HEALTH AND CHILDREN'S ISSUES TOP PRIORITIES FOR THE FMM

Health and children's issues are the top priorities for Saskatchewan at the

First Ministers' Meeting to be held September 11 in Ottawa, Premier Roy Romanow

said today.



"There is a strong consensus among Canadians that governments must act together

to ensure the sustainability of our health care programs and work to improve

health services to Canadians," Romanow said.



The premier says governments are close to reaching a deal.



"There is reason for optimism and I believe we can achieve an agreement that

benefits Saskatchewan people and all Canadians. I believe agreement is

possible if the federal government restores the cuts it made to health and

other social programs back in 1994-95 and is prepared to increase its

contribution over time as provincial health costs increase. The other key

issue will be for governments to agree on how to report to Canadians on the

performance of health programs."



The premier also emphasized the priority he attaches to children's issues.



"The National Child Benefit and the National Children's Agenda are two national

initiatives that are contributing to the well-being of children across Canada.

I believe there is an opportunity to do more and strongly support a national

initiative on early childhood development that builds on Saskatchewan's Action

Plan for Children."



Taken together, an agreement by First Ministers on health and early childhood

development would represent a major step in improving the health and well-being

of Canadians. It is through these kinds of agreements that First Ministers can

demonstrate, in a practical and meaningful way, their commitment to strengthen

social programs for all Canadians.



First Ministers will also have an opportunity to discuss the status of

negotiations related to a new national infrastructure program. Premier Romanow

noted that negotiations are well advanced on municipal infrastructure and he is

hopeful that negotiations with respect to highways can be accelerated over the

next two months.



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For more information, contact:



Anna Arneson

Media Services

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-0850, Cell: (306) 536-0551
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