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June 4, 2019

Canada’s nurses to take action on climate change

Media Release

June 4, 2019 (FREDERICTON) – A new discussion paper on the health impacts of climate change calls on nurses to prepare for extreme weather events, plan for emerging patient needs resulting from climate change, and encourage green initiatives at work.

The paper, released in Fredericton this morning by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, calls on nurses to take more bold actions, including helping educate patients and the public about climate science, urging federal and provincial action to reduce and eliminate emissions, and demanding that Canada meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

The paper – Climate Change and Health: It’s time for nurses to act – connects the dots between the emerging climate crisis and health care, CFNU President Linda Silas said today.

“Canada’s nurses can prepare their health care communities to help patients during the coming climate crisis,” Silas said. “But this paper also provides nurses with a blueprint on how to become strong advocates for a sustainable and healthy future for our planet.”

“As the paper says, it’s our duty as nurses, citizens and parents to move quickly in response to this catastrophic threat,” added Silas.

The paper, authored by University of Saskatchewan nursing professor Dr. Wanda Martin and Lindsey Vold, draws on case studies from Western, Central and Atlantic Canada of climate change-linked natural disasters in 2018.

Release of the paper coincided with the start of this morning’s keynote panel on climate change and health at the CFNU’s biennial convention at the Fredericton Convention Centre, which featured a presentation by Dr. Courtney Howard, president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

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Journalists who wish to arrange an interview with CFNU President Linda Silas, Dr. Courtney Howard of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, or report author Dr. Wanda Martin should contact:

Ben René, CFNU Communications Officer, 613-406-5962, brene@nursesunions.ca
Lauren Snowball, CFNU Communications Officer, 613-868-5702, lsnowball@nursesunions.ca