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July 9, 2024

Canada’s nurses unions pushing premiers for bold public health care transformation

Council of the Federation
Media Release

Silas: We won’t let premiers forget that access to care relies on health care workers!

July 9, 2024 (OTTAWA, ON) – As Canada’s premiers prepare to meet at the upcoming Council of the Federation next week, nurses unions are pressing provincial leaders to commit to a bold vision for public health care and ensure everyone has access to care at all ages.

“A patchwork approach to our health care systems means access to care is continuing to suffer. As a nurse on the front lines, you come face to face with critical health issues that could have been avoided if only the patient had access to a family doctor or a nurse practitioner. You see seniors languishing as they wait for a long-term care bed without access to home care or community care,” explained Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “A bold vision to center patients in our models of care would greatly improve patient care while easing the conditions that are pushing nurses and health care workers out of the system.”

The CFNU is calling on all levels of government to work together on key evidence-based solutions to support the robust recovery of our health care systems by:

  • Implementing nurse-patient ratios to address unsustainable workloads and improve patient care
  • Enforcing mandatory long-term care standards to address the safety and quality of seniors’ care
  • Ensuring everyone has access to primary care in their community
  • Collaborating on a pan-Canadian approach to health workforce planning data to ensure our public health care system is strong for generations to come

“The truth is that without a concentrated and collaborative effort to address the ongoing staffing crisis, the cracks in our health care system will only continue to grow,” said Silas. “Canadians need to see our premiers working together to rise to the challenge. We need accessible primary care. We need to know that as we age, we can count on the care we need right in our communities.”

Silas will be at the Council of the Federation meetings, accompanied by provincial nursing union leaders, to engage directly with premiers around solutions at a health care policy panel hosted by the CFNU on July 16 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing 250,000 Canada’s frontline nurses in every sector of health care – from home care, to LTC, community and acute care, including nursing students – and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

For more information, please contact Adella Khan,, 613-807-2942.