Sean SpeerSpeer available to comment ahead of this week's health ministers meeting on why more money is not the answer for fixing Canada’s health-care system

OTTAWA, Jan. 20, 2016 – This week’s health ministers meeting in Vancouver will give Canada’s provinces a first crack at shaking down the federal government for more money to solve their various health care maladies.

The federal government shouldn’t give it to them, says Macdonald-Laurier Institute Senior Fellow Sean Speer.

Speer, the co-author of a recently-released commentary outlining how to make Canada’s health-care system more efficient, is available to comment on this week’s meeting.

The provincial health ministers are expected to tackle several policy issues. This includes drug costs, chronic disease care and a long-term deal for transferring money to the provinces to cover health-care costs.

"The recent past shows that federal leadership is best exercised by creating the right incentives for provinces"

But instead of giving them more cash, says Speer, the federal government should allow them to do more with what they already have.


Increased flexibility.

The federal government should loosen the restrictions on how provinces can deliver health-care services.

This would involve creating the right incentives for provinces to reform the system, then stepping back and allowing local governments to craft solutions that best help their populations – all while respecting the principle of universal access to health care.

“The recent past shows that federal leadership is best exercised by creating the right incentives for provinces, not by transferring more money or trying to dictate how the system should be run”, writes Speer in the commentary.

The health ministers for the provinces and territories are expected to meet on Wednesday. The federal government will take part on Thursday.

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Sean Speer is a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. He previously served in different roles for the federal government including as senior economic advisor to the Prime Minister and director of policy to the Minister of Finance.

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is the only non-partisan, independent national public policy think tank in Ottawa focusing on the full range of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

For more information, please contact Mark Brownlee, communications manager, at 613-482-8327 x105 or email at

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