News Release - September 8, 2000
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
"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:
Phone: (306) 787-0850, Cell: (306) 536-0551