With an initial deal in place between the provinces and the federal government, bilateral talks are now underway on how the healthcare system will evolve.

One of those watching closely is Ontario New Democrat Lise Vaugeois, who notes if the $42 billion in new money is evenly distributed…Ontario will only see about $3.2 billion in total.

She’s worried however, those dollars might not make it beyond Southern Ontario.

“We will have to lobby hard to make sure a share of that money comes to us in the North. But I expect we’ll have to work hard to make that happen.”

Additionally, Vaugeois is also concerned about losing more staff in the North, who move to the South for fully funded positions and wants to see commitments from the Ford Government.

Meanwhile, Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu is excited to see where healthcare will go over the next decade.

While First Nations were not at the table during discussions held last week, there are elements of the deal that focus on Indigenous communities, such as a new $2 billion health equity fund.

“That money will go directly to Indigenous communities or Indigenous serving health organizations. Matawa Tribal Council is a perfect example of that, where money will be available for Indigenous people to use for example some are talking about increased sovereignty of data.”

Hajdu says the hope is to also integrate Indigenous medicine with Western medicine.

Acadia News reached out to both Thunder Bay – Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski and Thunder Bay – Atikokan MPP Kevin Holland, neither were available for comment on the deal.