McGuinty wants to talk about energy and health care at premiers' meeting

TORONTO – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty wants to talk with his fellow premiers about health care and energy at their annual meeting in Halifax this week.

McGuinty says he’ll raise the issue of ever increasing health care spending to see what the provinces can do together to keep costs down, especially when dealing with doctors’ salaries.

And he says it’s time the premiers came up with suggestions for a national energy strategy that doesn’t just subsidize projects like Alberta’s oil sands.

McGuinty says he also wants to see federal support for Ontario’s plans to get out of coal-fired generation and switch to renewable, green forms of energy.

He says most Canadians don’t realize Ontario has secured $27 billion in private-sector investment in renewable energy in recent years.

McGuinty says he won’t be drawn into the pipeline dispute between Alberta and British Columbia, and cautioned the media against blowing it up beyond what he calls a healthy debate.

“I think it would be a mistake to escalate this beyond what it is,” McGuinty said Tuesday.

“I think Albertans are have a genuine interest in getting their product out of the ground and exporting it (and) I think the people of British Colombia want to make sure if that is to take place it doesn’t compromise their quality of life and natural environment.”