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Quebec, Ottawa reach health-care funding deal, $900 million per year to province

Quebec has become the last province to reach an agreement in principle with the federal government on health-care funding.

Under the proposed deal, the province would receive an additional $900 million a year over 10 years for health care.

Premier François Legault said the new money comes with no conditions.

"Quebec is free to invest in the priorities of its choice. Health is an area of Quebec's exclusive jurisdiction and the federal government has no say in the matter," Legault's office said in a written statement.

The office of federal Health Minister Mark Holland also confirmed the existence of the agreement in principle.

The funding is part of a plan announced by the federal government a little more than a year ago to transfer $196 billion to the provinces and territories for health care over 10 years in exchange for commitments to improve data collection and to measure progress toward specific targets.

Last year, Quebec, which has pushed back against conditions on health-care spending, said it would share its health data with the federal government.

To receive the money earmarked for 2023-24, Quebec will have to sign the agreement before the end of the month.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario and the Northwest Territories have all signed agreements with Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

Caroline Plante, The Canadian Press