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Statement from CNA on the introduction of Bill C-15

December 14, 2020 — The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomes the federal government’s introduction of Bill C-15, which proposes to bring Canadian law into alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Article 24 of the declaration states that “Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” and that they also have the right to access care “without any discrimination.”

Implementing the UNDRIP was a recommendation in the calls to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“Similar to all sectors of society, anti-Indigenous racism exists in health care and the nursing profession. This longstanding indignity is the root cause of many health disparities among Indigenous Peoples in Canada and needs to be tackled aggressively at all levels. Bill C-15 is a critical step forward in the path to reconciliation,” said Tim Guest, president of CNA.

“As the largest group of health-care professionals in Canada, nurses are integral to eliminating racism in the profession and in health care more broadly. CNA is strongly committed to doing its part to work with Indigenous Peoples and governments to achieve the UN declaration’s objectives,” said Guest.

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About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-282-7859
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca