Nova Scotians will see better health care and tangibleimprovements to the economy through measures adopted today, June22, by the Council of Atlantic Premiers. “Atlantic premiers are coming out of today’s meeting united,”said Premier John Hamm. “We are speaking together with one voice,for better health care, for a stronger economy, for sustainingour foundation industries, such as agriculture, for stimulatingemerging industries, such as energy, for co-operating moreclosely to bring down barriers to trade, new growth and newjobs.” At the 10th meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers Monday,June 21, and Tuesday, June 22, at Acadia University in Wolfville,the premiers agreed to reiterate their longstanding call for thefederal government to dedicate new health and social dollars tocover 25 per cent of total costs by the end of the decade, inconcert with strengthening the equalization program. They willalso continue to co-operate in areas such as a common drugreview, electronic health records and primary care. “In Atlantic Canada, we’re prepared to do our part to worktogether to improve health care,” added Premier Hamm. In addition to a planned or expected Council of the Federationand First Ministers’ meeting on health care, the Atlanticpremiers will be pushing for their own meeting with the primeminister to establish a new co-operative approach for growing theAtlantic economy. “We see a day that with sustained growth the Atlantic provinceswill be self-sufficient,” said Premier Hamm. “But that can onlyhappen with a federal government willing to work with us, ratherthan against us.” The premiers also agreed to act on a number of issues raised in ameeting with the Atlantic Farmers Council. To increase local foodconsumption, the Atlantic Agri-Food Action Plan will conductconsumer research to find out what Atlantic Canadians know aboutlocal products. “We listened to the concerns our farmers brought forward on thebest way to ensure our region has a sustainable agriculturalindustry for generations to come,” added the premier. “Thisinformation will be essential to moving forward on this plan withour farmers.” The premiers further agreed to support the efforts of theAtlantic Farmers Council to secure the approval of Agricultureand Agri-Food Canada to establish an Atlantic Alternative EnergyCentre at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro. Internal trade barriers will also come down through the adoptionof standard terms and conditions on government purchasing by thefour Atlantic premiers. This will oversee the submission andevaluation of vender submissions to provincial governmenttendering opportunities and will be posted on the websites forthe Council of Atlantic Premiers and all Atlantic governmenttender opportunities, effective June 30. PREMIER’S OFFICE–Making Progress for Better Health Care andEconomic Growth
TORONTO — Ontario’s finance minister says he will be looking “very closely” at British Columbia’s tax aimed at foreign homebuyers as he looks for ways to address eroding affordability in Toronto’s housing market.Charles Sousa says he welcomes the 15 per cent tax that the B.C. government will charge foreign nationals looking to snap up homes in Vancouver’s scorching real estate market.Ontario should take ‘long, hard look’ at B.C.’s new tax on foreign home buyers: economistB.C. government approves plan for Vancouver tax on those leaving property vacantSousa says he is part of a committee, alongside Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong, that’s looking for ways to improve housing affordability in Canada’s hottest markets.He says it’s important to consider that any policies introduced to cool down Toronto’s hot real estate sector could have effects on other parts of the province that aren’t seeing the same problem.BMO chief economist Douglas Porter has urged the Ontario government to follow B.C.’s move, given that single detached houses in the Greater Toronto Area have jumped almost 20 per cent year-over-year.