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Ontario and Quebec are back at the Canadian Nurses Association board table

Ottawa, June 29, 2017 On June 21, voting delegates at the Canadian Nurses Association’s (CNA) annual meeting of members corrected two pivotal events in the organization’s history by electing board members to represent nurses from Ontario and Quebec.

“The return of Ontario and Quebec representation on our board constitutes a significant realignment that broadens CNA’s long-standing national voice for nurses across the country,” said CNA president Barb Shellian. “For the first time in a generation, we will have complete nursing representation from coast to coast to coast.”

Quebec nurses lost their representation within CNA in 1985 after members of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec voted to disaffiliate from CNA.

Meanwhile, Ontario lost its jurisdictional board seat — held by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) — in 2016. After deciding to move to a voluntary membership model in CNA, RNAO was no longer compliant with the universal membership requirement for all CNA jurisdictional members.

As a result, both provinces were no longer represented at the CNA board table or at the International Council of Nurses.

“The establishment of the independent membership category resulted in an enthusiastic response by nurses in Ontario in Quebec that shows tremendous support for CNA,” said CNA CEO Mike Villeneuve. “We are thrilled by the growing numbers of CNA members in both provinces and to now see them represented formally at the board table.”

CNA’s new board members — elected for a two-year period starting in June 2017 — are Sylvain Brousseau, RN, PhD (representing Quebec), and Kate Zimmerman, RN, MHS (representing Ontario).

Brousseau and Zimmerman were elected to contribute the perspectives and interests of Quebec and Ontario nurses, respectively, to the CNA board and do not sit as jurisdictional members.


The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:
Denise Rideout
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 558
E-mail: drideout@cna-aiic.ca