Mr. Speaker, on February 27, 1997, the legislature of the province of Ontario passed a resolution introduced by Sandra Pupatello, the provincial member for Windsor Sandwich. The resolution calls on the provincial government to "stop cutting base funding of hospitals and to allow communities to determine how to restructure their hospital services and find efficiency savings based on their needs".
Our local communities and hardworking doctors and nurses know the best way to reduce health care costs. Their expertise and priorities should be recognized. The federal government's priorities were clearly stated in the 1997 budget announcement that it would be reinvesting $300 million in health care over the next three years by investing in a health transition fund, a Canada health information system and increasing support for children's health under two programs, the community action program for children and the Canada prenatal nutrition program.
In recent weeks, the premier of Ontario and others have claimed the federal government cut transfers to Ontario by 40 per cent. This is not the case. The reductions in transfers was $1.2 billion or11.4 per cent. Next year Ontario will receive a total of $9.1 billion in transfers.
The federal government has made health care a priority and it is time the Government of Ontario did also.