Tag: Marguerite

first_imgATLANTIC PREMIERS–Sustainable Health Care and Economy Are TopPriorities Atlantic premiers today, June 22, reaffirmed their commitment toan enhanced publicly funded health-care system and to seekingfederal government co-operation in the area of economicdevelopment. HEALTH CARE:Atlantic Canada’s premiers agree that the viability of thenation’s health-care system depends on provincial and territorialgovernments’ ability to effect substantial improvement in health-care delivery supported by sufficient federal funding to ensurethe future sustainability of health care. The Atlantic premiers voiced support for the continuing effortsof their departments of health in pursuing numerous initiativesin such areas as common drug review, primary care, health humanresources, patient-centred interdisciplinary care and electronichealth records. Premiers directed their health ministers to explore furtherdetailed action planning for the implementation of electronichealth records, including means of accessing the $1.2 billion infederal funding available through Canada Health Infoway, and toreport back to them by the end of the summer. Premiers agreed theplan should provide for flexible approaches to innovations andcould include a common provider registry, a health surveillancesystem to track diseases, diagnostic imaging, patient records andcomputerized waiting lists. The intent of these initiatives is to ensure access to requiredhealth services in the most efficient manner. However, theseinitiatives represent only part of the solution to the challengeof sustaining a publicly funded health-care system. The federalgovernment must participate in addressing the funding crisis inthe delivery of health and social services through a combinationof improvements to the current funding arrangements for health. Premiers also reaffirmed their support for strengthening theequalization formula, and called on the federal government tooffset the effect of clawbacks caused by census adjustments. Atlantic premiers reaffirmed their support of the Council of theFederation position that the federal government must play a fullpartnership role by adding $3 billion to the base in this fiscalyear and moving to assume 25 per cent of provincial health andsocial costs by the end of the decade. The premiers emphasizedthat any new federal dollars must ensure adequate support of on-going health services before funding any new programs. The Atlantic premiers agreed to continue aggressiveimplementation of health-care initiatives aimed at ensuring thathealth services are available on an equitable basis, and tocontinue to pressure the federal government to provide long-term,sustainable, predictable health and social funding. They lookforward to discussing these issues at the next First Ministers’meeting. GROWTH AND PROSPERITY FOR ATLANTIC CANADA:Premiers discussed ways to accelerate growth and prosperity inAtlantic Canada. They noted that each of the provinces has aneconomic development agenda and objectives, and discussedcollaborative ways to achieve them, including through an improvedpartnership with the federal government. They noted that allAtlantic regional economic development agreements have nowexpired, while economic partnership arrangements in other partsof the country have been recently negotiated. The Atlantic premiers agreed that a renewed co-operative approachwith the federal government in the area of economic developmentis required. This approach should include skills development,innovation, infrastructure, tax competitiveness, energy andimmigration. The premiers agreed that this renewed relationship with thefederal government should be based on the following principles: Federal regional economic development policy should be developed in consultation with the provinces; The economic development activities of the federal and provincial governments should be complementary and co-ordinated to maximize resources; Funding arrangements should facilitate common Atlantic initiatives and be flexible enough to recognize the unique circumstances of each province through bilateral agreements; Effective communication between the provinces and the federal government at both the policy development and implementation stages is necessary to co-ordinate efforts in economic development; An effective federal-provincial partnership must be based on a whole government approach which encompasses regional agencies and other relevant departments.center_img Atlantic premiers will be seeking an early meeting with the primeminister and his Atlantic cabinet to discuss their economicdevelopment strategy for the region. AGRIFOOD ACTION PLAN:At the 9th session of the Council of Atlantic Premiers, inFebruary 2004, the council directed officials to recommend anapproach designed to promote the consumption of locally producedfood products. Today the premiers met with Doug Bacon, chair, andrepresentatives of the Atlantic Farmers Council, regarding thepromotion of Atlantic agri-food. The premiers endorsed theefforts of the Atlantic Farmers Council to secure a sustainablefuture for agriculture in Atlantic Canada. The Council of Atlantic Premiers tasked agriculture and businessdevelopment officials to undertake consumer research to determineknowledge and attitudes regarding Atlantic food products as afirst step in a closer partnership between Atlantic governmentsand the Atlantic agriculture industry. They will explore how toprovide greater access to institutional and other markets forAtlantic food products. The premiers directed officials to provide a detailed progressreport at the council’s next meeting. Premiers endorsed the Atlantic Farmers’ Council’s proposal toseek federal funding for an Atlantic Alternative Energy Centrewhich will facilitate research into alternative energy options,in particular wind power and bio-gas. ENERGY:The Atlantic premiers received a report from their ministers ofenergy outlining significant progress in developing regionalsolutions to the challenges facing the energy sector in AtlanticCanada. In a series of meetings, Atlantic energy ministers haveexplored issues related to the integration of renewable energysources, increased linkages with the New England power grid, andeconomic development. The premiers expressed their support for the energy ministers’agenda and commended their commitment to regional collaboration. The next meeting of energy ministers is scheduled to be held inNewfoundland and Labrador in September 2004. PROCUREMENT:The Atlantic provinces have successfully negotiated a uniqueagreement intended to facilitate trade in Atlantic Canada. TheAtlantic departments responsible for government purchasing haveadopted a set of standard terms and conditions that will governthe submission and evaluation of vendor submissions in responseto Atlantic government tender opportunities. The harmonization of procedures is intended to reduce andsimplify the administrative burden placed on vendors competingfor contracts within Atlantic Canada. Copies of the standardterms and conditions will be posted to the Council of AtlanticPremiers’ website and all Atlantic government tenderopportunities websites effective June 30. -30-last_img read more

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