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October 11, 2022

Canada’s frontline nurses urge feds to put public health care at the centre of their budget plan

Federal Budget
Health Human Resources
Media Release

Silas: Urgent action needed to protect patient care and stabilize the health staffing crisis

October 11, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – Canada’s frontline nurses are urging the federal government to fund initiatives that will stabilize the health care staffing crisis and protect patient care, action backed by firm timelines and real accountability.

“Patients are going without critical care while our ERs are completely overrun. Wait times are unimaginable and every day we see another announcement of service closures,” warned Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “This is a full-blown crisis and at the heart of it is a dire shortage of nurses. Years of underinvestment and inadequate planning got us here. It’s time to turn this ship around.”

In its pre-budget submission, the CFNU outlined immediate and long-term solutions that would address the dire shortage of nurses plaguing health care systems across the country. Recommendations from Canada’s frontline nurses focused on proven retention, return and recruitment initiatives, including:

  • Addressing excessive workloads;
  • Creating and supporting more nursing seats;
  • Bridging and mentorship programs;
  • Introducing a tax credit for nurses who maintain their readiness to return to the workforce; and,
  • Establishing a national health workforce planning body to improve planning and decision-making at all levels of government.

“Understaffing is a terrifying experience for both patients and nurses. But governments can do something about it,” explained Silas. “Implementing these recommendations will mean nurses know they will have the support they need to care for their patients as best they can, just as patients will be able to trust that they have access to the care they need, when they need it.”

Silas added that Budget 2023 is a critical opportunity for the federal government to provide stable funding to improve working conditions and achieve better outcomes for patients.

“Governments, working together with frontline health workers, can address today’s crisis while making sure our cherished public health care system is there for generations of Canadians to come,” Silas concluded.


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing Canada’s frontline nurses in every sector of health care – from home care, LTC, community and acute care, including nursing students – and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

Adella Khan, CFNU Communications, 613-807-2942,