Standing up for the health of Canadians

An elderly woman with a health care provider

These are challenging times for all Canadians – families and communities alike are doing their part to flatten the curve by staying at home and are troubled by economic strain and uncertainty. We are being challenged in more ways than we thought possible, and that’s as true for each of us individually as it is for governments, businesses and charities.

It is also very true for the cancer patients and caregivers that we represent. The reality is that cancer doesn’t stop being a life-changing and life-threatening disease in the middle of a global health crisis.

Canada’s charities are in a dire situation. It’s estimated that registered charities in Canada will lose between $9.5 and $15.7 billion and will lay off between 100,000 and 200,000 staff as a result of the pandemic. Job losses in occupations related to the nonprofit sector are already 1.4 times higher than the rest of the economy.

The Canadian Cancer Society is one of the largest charitable organizations in the country and we are facing our greatest financial challenge in our 80-year history at a time when our services are needed the most.

That’s why we are working hard to ensure government is aware of the needs of Canadians affected by cancer.

We have joined forces with 200+ charities, led by Imagine Canada, to call on the government to establish a $10 billion emergency stabilization fund for charities. We also support the collective efforts of the Emergency Coalition of Canadian Charities and the Health Charities Coalition of Canada. We need the support of government to continue to do what we do best – support Canadians with cancer in all communities across the country. This financial support will help us to protect our vital mission work, our dedicated staff and our operations nationwide.

Alongside our coalition efforts, CCS is actively engaged with government to make them aware of the needs of cancer patients during and long after this pandemic. Our CEO, Andrea Seale, presented to both the Federal Standing Committee on Health and the Federal Standing Committee on Finance to highlight CCS’s experience during the pandemic and to continue to advocate for the needs of cancer patients during these unprecedented times. As surgeries are cancelled, treatments postponed, and feelings of anxiety and isolation heightened, it is critical that governments understand the short- and long-term impacts on those we serve. We are working hard to ensure the voices of Canadians affected by cancer are heard and that their needs are not forgotten.

Cancer isn’t taking a break during this global health pandemic and neither are we. Through our cancer information and support services, we are here to help take pressure off the healthcare system and improve assistance for Canadians with cancer during this crisis.

For more information about our advocacy efforts, please visit our website.