Today I’m writing to you from the 2022 Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers, which is being put on by the Council of the Federation, and is being held in-person in Victoria, B.C.

The Council of the Federation is comprised of all 13 provincial and territorial Premiers and enables them to work collaboratively to foster constructive relationships among governments and show leadership on important issues that matter to Canadians.

In the run-up to this Summer Meeting, which wraps up tomorrow, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) launched a campaign to deliver an urgent message from Canada’s frontline nurses.

This message is that our health care system is on the brink of disaster, and we need solid actions to fix the dire shortage of nurses.

It’s important to remember that while the federal government is responsible for the Canada Health Transfer funds and setting the core criteria for health care across the country, it is the provincial governments that are responsible for the development and implementation of policies and programs related to our health care systems and delivery of health care services.

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In an op-ed published in The Winnipeg Free Press on July 5 by CFNU President Linda Silas and I, we stated the following:

For years, the Manitoba governments of Brian Pallister and now Heather Stefanson have been asking the federal government to increase health transfers. Next week, federal, provincial, and territorial governments will assemble at the Council of the Federation meeting to discuss healthcare. We would like to see a clear commitment on the part of the Manitoba government to invest any additional funds into directly improving patient care by rebuilding the nursing workforce.

View the full op-ed.

We remain laser-focused on the issue of staffing shortages because that is what we’re most hearing about from you, our members.

Our goal is to engage Canada’s leaders around concrete proposals to address staffing shortages, better support nurses, improve patient care and protect public health care.
In solidarity,

Darlene Jackson
Manitoba Nurses Union