Tomorrow is an important day for nurses across the country.

The Premiers of all provinces and territories are in Winnipeg for the Council of the Federation Summer Meeting. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has organized a breakfast meeting between the Premiers and the Presidents of the nurses’ unions that make up CFNU.

During last year’s breakfast, I spoke to Premier Heather Stefanson and called for urgent action on short-staffing, the importance of retention strategies to keep more nurses in the public health care system and, on IENs, the hiring an individual to help people navigate the complicated licensing process.

It's important to note how little has been done, when you are speaking with politicians who come canvassing.

This year, I plan on speaking to whomever I can about the issues facing Manitoba’s public health care system. It’s in an outRAGEous state, as our members well know.

We want better staffing levels. We want concrete plans to address the nurse staffing crisis and we want follow through. Manitobans are sick and tired of lip service; it’s time for this government to take responsibility and for our MNU members to rise up!

CFNU has also launched a campaign to coincide with the Premiers’ meeting that calls on Canada’s leaders to “finish the job” when it comes to fixing the nursing crisis and “complete the recovery” of our public health care system.

“It’s crucial that amongst the politicking we don’t lose sight of what is happening on the grounds in our hospitals, our community care settings and across health care. This is what our campaign aims to do,” said CFNU Linda Silas in a press release.

“This is a critical moment for our health care system. Bilateral deals were a good start, but nurses and their patients are looking for concrete change. Health care workers are facing yet another summer of incredible pressure without the resources and support they need to provide safe patient care.”

To see the CFNU campaign, please click this link

A quick reminder that the Save Public Health Care Rally follows the morning breakfast and will take place tomorrow, July 11, at 11:45 a.m. at the Upper Fort Garry site. We will begin at the corner of Main and Broadway, and will then proceed to the Union Centre for a rally in front of the 1919 mural on the east side of the building.

There will be speakers at the rally who will address the need for governments to act swiftly and strongly in support of our public healthcare system. We will also have our popular lawn signs available, with the message Vote Life Your Life Depends On It: The State Of Health Care Is OutRAGEous, for those who attend.

MNU members who are off-shift or on vacation are invited to join us for the rally! If you are unable to attend, please share this information with family, friends and colleagues, as we are hoping for a strong showing to the Premiers gathered, as well as media who will be here from across Canada. ?

Last week, I was in Montreal for the International Council of Nurse (ICN) Congress, which brought together nurses from all over the globe.

What was plain to see over the course of the Congress is that nursing is going through difficulties everywhere, including short staffing and burnout, so it’s crucial for nurses to be heard and included in decision-making processes when it comes to health policies.

One of the speakers, Luwei Pearson, associate director of UNICEF, told the Congress: “Nurses should speak up. Healthcare is a human right, not a luxury. Nurses should have their voices heard. It’s in our interests not to have anyone left behind. It’s not about the cheapest labour, but the smartest workforce.”

We need more nurses to ease the burden on those who are burning out and be able to deal with the myriad of health issues in the world today. The next ICN Congress will be held in 2025 in Helsinki, Finland.


In solidarity,

Darlene Jackson


Manitoba Nurses Union