Canada's premiers want ability to opt out of national pharmacare program

WATCH: Canadian Premiers on pharmacare: ‘the Federal government needs to play a larger role’

Canada’s premiers say they want the federal government to increase health-care transfer funds by just over five per cent and allow the provinces to opt out of any national pharmacare program.

The premiers emerged from a meeting in Mississauga, Ont., this afternoon saying they had reached a consensus on four priority areas, including on federal health-care funding.

They reiterated their call for a 5.2 per cent increase in annual health-care transfer payments from the federal government.

They also said the federal government should recognize the right of any province to opt out of its proposed pharmacare program with full compensation.

The premiers say they are also eager to address economic competitiveness, the fiscal stabilization program and Northern priorities with the federal Liberals.

The leaders have invited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to co-host a first ministers meeting early in the new year.

Scott Moe identifies 3 areas consensus can be achieved at COF table

The campaign laid bare some regional divisions, and the premiers of Saskatchewan and Alberta — where the Liberals won no seats — have been especially vocal about their asks from Ottawa.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change the equalization formula, but there is unlikely to be consensus on that around the premiers’ table.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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