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Governmental Budgets


December 2018

On December 10, the House of Commons standing committee on finance tabled its final report for its 2019 pre-budget consultations. CNA was pleased to see that the committee adopted two of our recommendations on palliative care and support for caregivers [PDF, 172.9 KB]:

Palliative care — committee recommendation #71: “Improve access to palliative care with targeted federal investments for both new and existing programs to improve standardization of delivery of palliative care for people across Canada.”

CNA’s recommendations on palliative care:

  • That the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Act include targeted federal investments to improve the standardization of delivery of palliative care for all Canadians.
  • The provision of early-career access to palliative care training and education to nurses and other health-care providers. CNA supports the development of palliative care competencies for all health-care providers, including nurses, and associated practice standards.

Support for caregivers — committee recommendation #22: “Consider making the Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit refundable.”

CNA’s recommendation on caregivers:

  • Increased financial support by making the existing Family Caregiver Tax Credit refundable

CNA encourages everyone to take part in the finance minister’s online pre-budget consultation.

August-September 2018

In August, CNA delivered its 2019 pre-budget submission [PDF, 172.9 KB] to the House of Commons standing committee on finance. As noted above, two of our recommendations were adopted. The full list of recommendations focused on the following areas:

  • Encouraging health-care innovation
  • Public health emergency preparedness
  • Improving access to palliative care and support for caregivers
  • Enhancing access to sustainable health human resources to better serve rural, remote and Indigenous communities

In September, CNA presented its recommendations. You can watch CNA CEO Mike Villeneuve’s testimony before the finance committee on our YouTube channel. The transcript from the committee meeting is available on the House of Commons website.


CNA’s 2018 pre-budget submission [PDF, 181.6 KB] to the House of Commons standing committee on finance contained cost-effective recommendations to promote Canadians’ health and productivity by strengthening public health and closing health-care gaps experienced by Indigenous Peoples.

CNA’s recommendations for the 2018 budget aimed to strengthen public health through investments in the following areas:

  • A public health approach to reduce harmful health, social and economic consequences for all Canadians related to the legalization of cannabis: CNA recommended that the federal government invest in a harm reduction-based cannabis awareness campaign
  • Antimicrobial stewardship programs to minimize the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, a considerable threat to Canadians’ health and well-being: CNA recommended that the federal government scale up provincial and territorial acute care and community-based antimicrobial stewardship programs (with an accountability framework that guides how funds are applied)
  • Early, secondary and post-secondary education programs for Indigenous students, and investments in health services and professional development programs for health-care providers serving Indigenous communities

In November 2017, CNA shared these recommendations more widely by sending them to parliamentarians. In addition to providing them these key recommendations for the 2018 federal budget, two national surveys — one conducted by Nanos [PDF, 1.1 MB] and another prepared by CNA — showed that Canadians support our proposals.

On February 27, 2018, CNA president Barb Shellian responded to the tabling of Budget 2018. The following is an excerpt from her statement:
“While Budget 2018 does not provide the $125 million over five years for public education for cannabis recommended in CNA’s pre-budget submission, CNA is pleased to see that it does provide an increased investment of $83 million over five years for public education initiatives (building on the $46 million that was already earmarked over the same time-period). CNA hopes that some of these new funds can be provided to Canada’s nurses. A Nanos poll [PDF, 1.1 MB] indicated that 9 in 10 Canadians support a greater role for nurses in educating the public, but a national survey of nurses found that half of the respondents did not have the adequate level of knowledge needed to educate their patients on the harms of non-medical cannabis.”


On March 22, 2017, CNA responded to the tabling of the 2017 federal budget by welcoming positive measures for nurse practitioners and their patients, home care, caregivers and indigenous peoples.

The 2017 budget amended the Income Tax Act to enable NPs to certify patients for the federal disability tax credit. When the budget was passed, it removed even more barriers for NPs and their patients through amendments to the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code.

CNA also welcomed the $6 billion in federal investments over 10 years dedicated to home care in provinces and territories that have signed bilateral funding agreements. CNA advocated for a shift in health service delivery models, from a focus on acute care to more cost-effective community-based care.

In advance of the budget, CNA president Barb Shellian held a press conference to highlight the importance of improving home care and supporting caregivers. Read the media release.

CNA’s recommendations for the 2017 budget were outlined in its pre-budget submission [PDF, 297.3 KB] to the House of Commons standing committee on finance.


On March 22, 2016, Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered his maiden federal budget. CNA responded by issuing a media release that generally supported the investments the government plans to make. In the release, former CEO Anne Sutherland Boal also emphasized that CNA was looking forward to what lies ahead: “While [the] budget did not provide specifics about the federal government’s allocation of health dollars to the provinces and territories, CNA is hopeful that the discussions underway on the new health accord will seek a shift to patient-centred care in homes and communities and, among other things, improve access to home care and mental health services.”

A week prior to the unveiling of the budget, the House of Commons finance committee (FINA) tabled its pre-budget report. Among the committee’s recommendations to the government, to “support economic growth, fiscal sustainability, the ‘wellness’ of Canadians and Canadian businesses” (p. 64), were two supported proposals CNA made to FINA during consultations in February: FINA Recommendation 16 “The federal government, in negotiating a new health care accord, ensure that it honours the principles of the Canada Health Act, particularly regarding portability of coverage, ensures fair and equitable access to health care based on need rather than on ability to pay, and includes an accountability framework. As well, the government should pursue the feasibility of a universal, national prescription drug program and enhanced investments in home care” (p.66).

What CNA proposed [PDF, 297.3 KB]
“that federal-provincial-territorial bilateral agreements include a robust accountability framework to enable monitoring and reporting on the use of [Canada Health Transfer] dollars [that] would:

    • Show causal relationships between inputs, activities and population health outcomes
    • Include reporting on a comprehensive set of indicators and outcome measures derived from existing national data sources
    • Link with data on social outcomes” (p. 4)

FINA Recommendation 32
“The federal government improve the educational prospects of Indigenous children by investing in on-reserve schools. To achieve this goal, the government should focus on better learning environments, reforms to the current on-reserve education system, and greater financial support for cultural and language programs” (p. 69). What CNA proposed “To improve access to high-quality education for [Indigenous] students, CNA, whose membership includes the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada (A.N.A.C.), recommends a four-year annual federal government commitment of $100 million [for] accessible, culturally safe, high-quality early childhood learning and development programs” (pp. 5-6).