Recommendations for federal budget, health accord and home care top Hill Day agenda

January / February 2017   Comments
Teckles Photography Inc.CNA board member Tim Guest, government relations manager David Granovsky and president-elect Claire Betker met with Nova Scotia Liberal MPs Bernadette Jordan and Bill Casey during Hill Day.

Hill Day 2016 was the largest advocacy day for the association in recent history. All told, 32 CNA representatives — working in 11 teams — met with 46 MPs, senators and political staff. With nearly 105,000 views of CNA’s various social media posts, the event’s reach went from coast to coast to coast.

Nov. 22 kicked off with CNA hosting a breakfast reception in the Parliamentary dining room in the Centre Block. Liberal MP and RN Kamal Khera, parliamentary secretary to the health minister, was the keynote speaker for the event. CNA president Barb Shellian and CEO Anne Sutherland Boal provided an overview of home care services and programs across Canada and discussed innovative approaches to improve them.

CNA representatives provided detailed plans for better home care during the individual and small-group meetings with parliamentarians throughout the day. The board members and staff from the jurisdictional members and from CNA promoted three key recommendations they want to see addressed in the 2017 federal budget and in the next health accord. CNA recommends including a robust accountability framework in federal bilateral agreements to enable monitoring and reporting on the use of Canada Health Transfer dollars; enabling equitable access to high-quality, publicly funded home- and community-based care; and supporting family caregivers.

A joint meeting was held with Nova Scotia Liberal MPs Bernadette Jordan, Darrell Samson and Bill Casey, chair of the standing committee on health, but most of the other meetings were conducted with individual MPs and senators. The list included Rona Ambrose, interim Conservative leader; Marty McKendry, director of parliamentary affairs for the leader of the government in the Senate; Senator Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie, chair of the Senate committee on social affairs, science and technology; and Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House.

CNA’s manager of government relations, David Granovsky, will build on those meetings by following up with each MP and senator who agreed to write a letter to either the minister of health or the minister of families, children and social development in support of CNA’s recommendations or who offered other means of support.

The Hill Day momentum continued into Nov. 23 when Shellian and CNA staff met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; his director of policy, Michael McNair, and policy advisor Tyler Meredith; and Khera.

Later in the month, CNA staff also met with Julie DeWolfe and Cameron Sabadoz from the Liberal Research Bureau to learn how they work and offer CNA’s help by providing information to inform caucus and committees. Similar meetings are planned with the Conservatives and NDP later this year.

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