This News in Review report is the point of departure for examining a number of important issues fundamental to the Canadian political and social way of life. The basic principles of health care in Canada, which historically include universal medicare, provincial control over health matters, and federal-provincial cost-sharing, have been enshrined in the Canadian Constitution as well as numerous federal and provincial acts. But because of the division of powers between federal and provincial/territorial levels of government, implementing, achieving and maintaining high standards of health care for Canadians, wherever they live, has not always been the easiest of tasks. The integrated programs have also been subject to changing economic and political priorities on the part of governments. The recent First Ministers meeting in Ottawa, an important and unique component of our governmental process itself, was the venue for a renewed commitment to health care in Canada following years of budget cuts, what some would call political neglect of the system, and widespread concern among those served by the system.