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Trudeau’s Cabinet Shuffle Bonanza 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces a significant cabinet shuffle, with changes at Health. On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.

On the Hill

  • The House of Commons and the Senate are now adjourned for the summer. The House is scheduled to return on Monday, September 18, while the Senate is scheduled to return on Tuesday, September 19. 

Around Cabinet 

  • In an attempt to shake up the Liberals’ recent polling woes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau undertook the most significant shuffle of his cabinet to date this week. This, the 17th set of changes announced to cabinet since the Liberals took power in 2015, impacted all but seven Ministers. In all, seven Ministers were removed from cabinet (four due to their plans to retire, three due to poor performance) while seven Liberal MPs were promoted to cabinet (three from the class of 2015, and four who were elected more recently). At Health, out are Minister Jean-Yves Duclos whose shift to Public Services and Procurement means he will continue to have at least some overlap with the file, and Carolyn Bennett was removed from cabinet after she announced she would not be seeking election again. In are Mark Holland, the dogged Liberal and former Government House Leader who has been open about his significant mental health struggles following his election loss in 2011, as Minister of Health; and Ya’ara Saks, the rookie MP first elected in a 2020 by-election and former public health advocate, as Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
  • Minister Bennett announced close to $900,000 in funding to the University of Manitoba for a project aimed at increasing research capacity in the field of child maltreatment, child welfare, and family violence. The aim is to create a collaborative and sustainable network that will enhance impactful research in these areas..
  • Minister Duclos and Minister Kamal Khera (Seniors) announced the launch of a public online consultation to support the development of a Safe Long-Term Care Act. Previously, the government welcomed the release of two independent LTC standards from CSA Group and the Health Standards Organization (HSO), which provide guidance for delivering services that are safe, reliable, and — most importantly — centred on residents' needs.
  • In her final act as Minister of Mental Health, Carolyn Bennett announced an investment of $156 million over three years to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for the implementation and operation of the 9-8-8 suicide crisis helpline, a national three-digit number for suicide prevention and emotional distress.
  • The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion announced the timeline and details of the engagement process for the Canada Disability Benefit regulations. Over the fall/winter of 2023, the government will consult on regulatory development. Upon the publishing of the proposed regs in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the government will then open up public consultations seeking feedback on the proposed regulations.

Around the Dominion

  • The Government of Newfoundland announced that a collective agreement has been ratified with the Registered Nurses’ Union Newfoundland and Labrador (RNUNL).
  • On July 23, the then-Minister of Emergency Preparedness approved a Request for Federal Assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia to assist with their response to extreme flooding. Two Canadian Armed Forces CH-149 Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters from 14 Wing Greenwood assisted RCMP-led search and rescue operations. The Coast Guard and the RCMP also deployed units.
  • The Government of New Brunswick announced that pharmacists at six locations across the province will soon have expanded authority to assess and prescribe for some chronic conditions as well as for Group A strep (strep throat) as part of a 12-month pilot project.
  • The Government of Ontario announced new steps it was taking to support recruitment and retention of health workers in the province. Most notably, new “As of Right” rules come into effect, making Ontario the first province to allow highly trained physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and medical laboratory technologists already registered or licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction to start work immediately when they arrive without having to first register with one of Ontario’s health regulatory colleges.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan announced it is now offering financial supports for individuals interested in pursuing a front-line paramedic career in Saskatchewan. Training bursaries will be available to students and new graduates of paramedic programs who commit to joining Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Saskatchewan.
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