Despite 4,000 dead, Legault spokesperson rejects national standards for long-term care

A spokesperson for Quebec Premier Francois Legault says new money from Ottawa for provincial long-term care should have no requirement to meet national standards. Nearly 4,000 people have died in Quebec's long-term care system.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Quebec Premier Francois Legault is shrugging off the suggestion that new federal funding for long-term care homes would have to be tied to national standards.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told The Canadian Press in an interview Wednesday that he wants to partner with provinces to improve long-term care as long as national standards can be set and upheld.

But Legault spokesman Ewan Sauves says health care is firmly a provincial jurisdiction and Ottawa's only role is to provide proper funding for it.

Ottawa currently funds about one-fifth of the cost of provincial health-care systems, while the premiers are asking the federal government to cover more than one-third.

Sauves says if Ottawa had properly funded health care in the first place, long-term care would not have been in the crisis it is in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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