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In the last federal budget, the government announced that it would be moving its health and social transfers system to a “per capita” model where in order to get more funding, your population would have to be growing. This was a demand of the Ontario government to address the fiscal imbalance.

At the time, the media in New Brunswick barely covered this. I think it was mentioned briefly and one newspaper columist said this would be a problem.

Now PC Opposition leader and Health Minister Murphy are said to be pushing for more health funding as boomers begin to retire.

It seems to me that this is missing the bigger point. The Feds have just said they are moving to a funding formula that will flatline health funding to New Brunswick (because our population is stagnant) and our guys are dutifully asking for more dough for health.

What they should have been doing is fight hard against this per capita funding model for health and social transfers. An issue that it seemed to me was almost not even on the local agenda for concern.

Better than that, we should be looking at better ways to generate own source tax revenue to lessen our dependence on Federal funding overall. While I have no problem with transfer programs as a concept, I believe increasingly this leaves us at the mercy of the winds. Political winds that is.

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