Trudeau commits to Indigenous health care overhaul

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is promising to overhaul Indigenous health care if his party forms another government in the upcoming federal election.

During a campaign rally at Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University on Wednesday for the two local Liberal candidates, Trudeau told the crowd that a government led by him would enact new legislation that would offer “high-quality health care” for all Indigenous people.

The health care would be “distinction-based,” he said — meaning it would be designed to meet the unique needs of each Indigenous group. Trudeau said the legislation would be co-developed with First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments.

Currently, Indigenous health care falls under the Indian Act.

The announcement was one of two Indigenous policy moves raised by Trudeau in Thunder Bay. The second focused on infrastructure.

“We will co-develop and invest in distinctions-based community infrastructure plans,” Trudeau said during his stump speech.

“Together, we will address critical infrastructure needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities by 2030. This will mean more housing, better roads, high-speed Internet and new treatment centres and schools.”

The speech didn’t include any further details about these initiatives — such as how they would be financed.

Trudeau didn’t take questions from reporters during the Thunder Bay rally.

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