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July 10, 2022

Nurses to Premiers: Canada’s health care is on the brink of disaster. Let’s fix the nursing shortage before it’s too late.

Council of the Federation
Health Human Resources
Media Release
Nursing Shortage

Silas: Nurses always step up to support Canada. Now governments must step up to support nurses.

July 10, 2022 (VICTORIA, B.C.) – As the Council of the Federation begins critical meetings around the future of our public health care systems, Canada’s nurses are urging all levels of government to come together behind solutions for the most pressing health care challenge of our time – the dire shortages of nurses and other health workers.

“We have heard from nurses across the country suffering from burnout after years of caring for patients during a pandemic. Nurses continue to face forced overtime and extreme staffing shortages. With no relief in sight, many are being driven out of the profession,” said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. “When nurses don’t have the resources they need, patient care suffers. Nurses will be in Victoria ready to engage the premiers around the need for governments of all levels to act with urgency, address the health workforce crisis and preserve our cherished public health care system.”

After frontline nurse representatives from across the country met for a spring summit around developing solutions to the critical shortage of nurses, Canada’s nurses launched a new campaign to engage Canada’s leaders and the public around their proposals to stop this health care disaster.

“Nursing unions came together around solutions to address staffing shortages, better support nurses, and protect and improve patient care. Nurses are proposing new targeted funding, with real accountability,” said Silas. “We are presenting the premiers and the federal government with proposals that will start turning things around now, and make sure public health care is there for future generations of Canadians.”

Canada’s nurses are proposing solutions designed around three Rs: retain, return and recruit. Silas added that nurses are ready to work with governments but warned that time is getting short.

“Solutions begin with retaining the nurses we do have, returning departing nurses to the profession, and recruiting the next generation of nurses into a healthy and safe workplace where they can be proud of the quality care they provide to patients,” Silas explained.

“Nurses understand the health care system and have concrete proposals for how to fix it. We stand ready to work with the premiers – and the federal government,” said Silas. “But nurses and our health care system are on the edge of a precipice. Governments must not delay action any longer.”


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.

Ben René, CFNU Communications, 613-406-5962,