Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says that some premiers are worried they won't see significant health care dollars unless they agree to report directly to the federal government on how that money is being spent.
But he said in reality, the provinces are on the front lines of health care delivery.
"The concern that they have is some formal mechanism that requires them to report to the federal government, which I think in a real fair sense - I'm trying to be fair about this - is only a junior partner when it comes to health care," he said.
Mr. McGuinty also said Tuesday that the federal government must be willing to open its wallet to help the provinces offset health-care costs.
"We devote a gargantuan amount of our program spending to delivering health care," he said. "And a tremendous amount of energy. ... But we need more help from the federal government. I don't think there's any doubt about that whatsoever. We think that they can do more, and Prime Minister Martin has offered to do more, so we welcome that initiative," Mr. McGuinty told reporters at Toronto's legislature on Tuesday.