Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


First Ministers’ meeting focuses on COVID-19 and health care

Funding for millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine was the main topic of discussion during a First Ministers’ meeting on Dec. 10, 2020. 

Hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the meeting with premiers and territorial leaders focused on developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine but not an increase in annual federal transfers for health premiers and territorial leaders had hoped would also be on the table. While the PM conceded the federal government is willing to give provinces and territories more money to help pay for health-care expenditures such as improvements in long-term care, Trudeau said his government would not commit to specific dollar amounts until after the pandemic.  

In an op-ed published in the Toronto Star, RNAO called on the prime minister and provincial and territorial leaders to discuss funding transfers for health care at the meeting and to look at rebuilding long-term care, in particular, the government of Canada’s promise to develop national standards for long-term care. It’s a pledge that is needed because the country has watched in horror as thousands of vulnerable seniors have died. 

RNAO is calling for leadership and true collaboration among all levels of government to deliver an agreement around national standards and targeted funding, earmarked specifically for this commitment. Such an agreement has the potential to right a terrible wrong and ensure seniors are not forgotten. 

As the prime minister and premiers/territorial leaders continue to meet regularly throughout the weeks and months to come, RNAO looks forward to seeing the conversation continue around Ottawa’s commitment to residents in nursing homes. 

To learn more about the discussions during the First Ministers’ meeting, please read the government’s media release. On Dec. 14, RNAO hosted a webinar to continue the conversation on how to inspire our provincial, territorial and the federal governments to establish national standards for long-term care. To see the webinar, please go online

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