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March 15, 2022

Now more than ever, nurses need to be united

Media Release
Nursing Shortage

March 15, 2022 (OTTAWA, ON) – The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is pleased to announce that it is immediately working to welcome the British Columbia Nurses’ Union back into its ranks.

“The past two years have been tremendously difficult for everyone, but the pandemic has certainly underscored the importance of community and family,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. “For nurses, that sense of community is a powerful force – and one that’s truly reflected in their unions.”

Nurses’ unions across Canada have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect their members. This collaboration was especially critical in the early days of the pandemic when knowledge was scarce, and a concerted effort was needed to prevent nurses and all health care workers from being needlessly imperilled.

“Since day one of the pandemic, we brought BCNU and other health care unions to the table and acted as a task force to keep health care workers safe,” explained Silas. “We openly and freely shared our knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including infection prevention and control strategies. It’s time we solidify this partnership, and we are immediately starting the process by inviting BCNU to rejoin our federation.”

The British Columbia Nurses’ Union represents more than 48,000 members working in all aspects of nursing. The union has a long history of fiercely working to advance and defend its members’ rights, including taking its fight with the BC government all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“BCNU has been a strong and proud union for nurses for more than 40 years, and today I’m proud that we are turning a page in our history and moving towards rejoining our colleagues across Canada – something our members have always wanted to do,” said BCNU President Aman Grewal.

“Given the acute staffing shortages crippling Canada’s health care sector, nurses are counting on us more than ever to stand united and to use our collective voices to address this crisis.”

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is currently made up of eight provincial nurses unions. Since 1981, the federation has advocated for key health priorities and federal engagement. Recently, the CFNU has been calling for urgent action to reverse the nursing shortage, which has only worsened during the pandemic.

“The nursing shortage is an existential threat to the universal health care system that Canadians love and depend on,” said Silas. “Every day, as a union leader, I hear from nurses who are just hanging by a thread. We urgently need governments to tackle this crisis in a concerted fashion and in consultation with nurses’ unions.”

Today’s announcement follows a motion that was unanimously adopted by the CFNU’s national executive board. Throughout this process, the CFNU expects to work alongside the British Columbia Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. The CFNU and BCNU are committed to this momentous step forward, which will only strengthen their unwavering advocacy for nurses.


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing about 200,000 nurses and student nurses, and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in public health care.

For more information, please contact:
Ben René,, 613-406-5962