What you need to know about the Canada Health Transfer

What is the Canada Health Transfer?The Canada Health Transfer is the money the federal government sends to the provinces and territories to help pay for health care, which is a provincial responsibility. Ottawa can use the CHT to enforce the Canada Health Act, although, in practice, it rarely does. The transfer can be clawed back if a province fails to uphold any of the act’s five principles: universality, comprehensiveness, portability, accessibility and public administration.

The CHT, which is set to top $36-billion in 2016-17, is now divided among the provinces on a purely per-capita basis. (That was not always the case.) Under the Health Accord that former prime minister Paul Martin struck with the provinces and territories in 2004, the CHT has grown by 6 per cent per year, but that formula was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2017. In 2011, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government announced the escalator would drop to 3 …
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