March 13, 2024

The CFNU joins FIQ at March 16 rally “It has to move!”

Silas: Together, we’ll make it clear, “L’union fait la force!”

March 13, 2024 (Ottawa, ON) – “Nurses and health care workers across the world are working under dire conditions that compromise their own health and jeopardize patient safety. Quebec is no exception,” explained Linda Silas, President of the 250,000-member-strong Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “Nurses everywhere know, the fight for better working conditions is the fight to protect patient care. Quebec nurses and health care professionals are standing up for patient care, and we are standing right beside them.”

Silas will be joining the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) in Quebec City on Saturday March 16 for a major rally to support the 80,000 nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists, who are still negotiating their collective agreements and have done eight days of strike since November 2023.

Amidst a critical nursing shortage caused by an exodus, FIQ members are demanding government commitment to better wages, improved workloads and better work-life balance to retain and attract health care professionals.

Nurses are chronically working overcapacity across the country, as reported in a national nurse survey the CFNU conducted with Viewpoints Research. Of 1,318 nurses surveyed in Quebec from January 16 to February 9, 70% reported routinely working overcapacity. As health care professionals fight an uphill battle for appropriate staffing, it should come as no surprise that 60% of Quebec nurses said the quality of care has declined over the past year.

“Nurses in Quebec have been sounding the alarm on the impact insufficient staffing has on patient care for far too long. Working conditions are unsafe, which means the conditions of care are unsafe,” said Silas. “Almost 40% of nurses in Quebec are reporting patient safety incidents or near misses in the last six months, and most are pointing to inadequate staffing as the cause. This is terrifying – for nurses and for patients.”

The toll on Quebec nurses is alarming. More than four in 10 nurses report worsened mental health compared to a year ago – higher than anywhere else in the country.

“Nurses are strong, but they can’t be expected to continue without the support they need. The Quebec government must use this opportunity to improve the working lives of nurses and get health care in the province back on track,” said Silas. “It’s time for competitive wages and safe nurse-patient ratios across the country. To our colleagues in Quebec: know that nurses from coast to coast to coast are behind you!”

Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union President Janet Hazelton and CFNU Secretary-Treasurer Angela Preocanin will join Silas at Saturday’s rally urging the government to commit to the supports Quebec nurses need.


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

For more information please contact Adella Khan, CFNU Communications,, 613‑807-2942.