June 1, 2023

Over 1,000 nurses from across Canada come together in PEI for week-long convention

Silas: Nurses are riled up and ready to make noise in Charlottetown

June 1, 2023 (Charlottetown, PEI) – Gathering in person for the first time in four years, more than 1,000 nurses are descending upon Prince Edward Island’s capital June 5-9 for the biennial convention of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU).

“After years of working short-staffed and overcapacity on the front lines of a deadly pandemic, nurses are riled up and ready to make a bold statement to governments while we’re on the ground in PEI,” said Linda Silas, CFNU President. “The energy of nurses from across the country ready to work together is incredible. The crisis in health care is real, and we need concrete action now. But nurses know: together, we got this.”

The theme Together we got this speaks to the crucial role solidarity plays in creating positive change in our communities and health care systems broadly.

Formal activities are scheduled to get under way at 8:30 am sharp on Tuesday June 6 at the Delta PEI Convention Centre, 18 Queen Street, with two days devoted to educational sessions followed by two days of CFNU business.

On Monday afternoon, hundreds of nurses are expected to participate in a Healthy Walk through the streets of Charlottetown before they are welcomed by Prince Edward Island Nurses’ Union President Barbara Brookins at an opening night reception.

Tuesday’s plenary session will open with a discussion and video series focused on human rights and equity. The day’s plenary speaker, Martha Chaves, will take the stage at 10:45 am.

Over the two education days, convention delegates will have the opportunity to attend workshops on topics ranging from psychological health and safety for nurses, the social determinants of health, truth and reconciliation, and protecting and advancing public health care.

Wednesday’s educational sessions focus on the global scale of the nursing shortage, with a panel discussion on nurses mobilizing around the globe by experts from Canada, Ireland, Australia and the United States.

The business of the Biennium commences at 8:30 am on Thursday June 8, followed an hour later by the President’s Address and an open forum with nurse union leaders from across the country. Media are welcome to attend both the address and open forum.

Following union business on Friday, nurses are undertaking a massive rally and die-in in downtown Charlottetown to highlight the urgency and seriousness of Canada’s nursing crisis, and the impact decision-makers have on the lives of nurses and their patients.

A full agenda is posted on CFNU’s website, nursesunions.ca.


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing 250,000 of Canada’s frontline nurses in every sector of health care – from home care, to LTC, community and acute care, including nursing students – and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Linda Silas or other conference participants, please contact Adella Khan, media@nursesunions.ca, 613-807-2942.