The government has yet to negotiate a new Health Accord with the provinces. The present accord expires in 2014. The government has promised an increase each year of 6 per cent to the provinces until 2016, two years after the agreement expires Jim Flaherty the finance minister says that such increases cannot be sustained.
The poorer provinces must rely on transfers from the central government to ensure that they can offer health care services that are comparable to those in richer provinces. Prime Minister Harper would like to see radical changes in both the health care system and a reduction in the size of the welfare state.
Harper had this to say about Canada and Canadians.""In 1997, Harper delivered a controversial speech for a conservative American think tank in which he said, "Canada is a northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it", "if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians", ""
The government has been promising to balance the budget through 4 billion in savings over three years. But now a government spokesperson Jason Kenney says that the cuts could be larger, up to 8 billion dollars. The government does have money to spend on new Stealth fighter jets and also to build up the prison system. The new Conservative crime bills will guarantee that more prison facilities will need to be built. Perhaps Harper's admiration for U.S. conservatives is leading him to attempt to catch up with and surpass the U.S. in incarceration rates. The U.S. has the world's record for incarceration.