Ottawa open to long-term health accord with provinces: source

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The federal government is signaling a willingness to sign a longer-term health accord with the provinces in a shift that could help end the standoff in negotiations over transfer payments for health care.

That means Ottawa may be willing to extend its offer of additional health care spending beyond the $3 billion over four years now on the table, but a senior federal official told CBC News that would only happen if the provinces commit to investing the additional money in mental health and home care.

The move comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to host the premiers Friday for a first ministers’ meeting dedicated to a national climate change strategy.

In September, the premiers sent Trudeau a letter demanding a meeting on health care in advance of the upcoming talks on climate change. That didn’t happen, but Trudeau did agree to discuss health care with the…

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