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Statement by CNA president Barb Shellian following the Council of the Federation meeting

Edmonton, July 19, 2017 — Barb Shellian issued the following statement after the Council of the Federation’s 2017 summer meeting:

“The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is encouraged by the premiers’ continued discussions to‎ strengthen long-term sustainability and innovation in our health-care system. As the new Mifegymiso abortive medication lacks access at this time, it is an example of how outdated regulation and legislation prevents Canadians from accessing the quality services they deserve. While nurse practitioners (NPs) are integral to providing Mifegymiso, to do so Canada’s premiers must ensure that NPs can practise to their full scope. CNA is therefore calling on federal, provincial and territorial governments to eliminate these and other barriers to delivering timely access to quality care.

“We were also very pleased that the opioid crisis is still at the top of their agenda. Given the positive impact supervised consumption sites have on community safety, a lot can be done in Canada to establish many more of these services. Further, it is of the utmost importance that governments improve access to health and social services such as opioid agonist treatments, including methadone, Suboxone and diacetylmorphine (prescription heroin) for persons who are ready for such interventions.

“As Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, is expected to become law before July 2018, we urge all provincial and territorial governments to work in collaboration with the federal government to ensure we adopt a pan-Canadian public health approach and invest in prevention strategies to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of cannabis use. CNA applauds the premiers for agreeing to establish a provincial/territorial working group on cannabis.

“We are also reassured by their continued support of Indigenous communities in their emphasis on the need to move forward with a family-centered approach that respects and honours those who have experienced loss of loved ones.

“Finally, as Canada enters into new North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, we demand full and complete protection of our universal and publicly funded health-care system. There are many elements such as labour mobility, government and investor-state dispute settlements, intellectual property rights, anti-privacy measures and labour conditions that are important to get right for the nursing profession. We will continue to monitor current issues such as NP cross-border employment and the privacy of nurses writing U.S.-based licensure exams and to look at cross-border trade with a public health lens.”

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For more information, please contact:

Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca