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Webinar: Advocacy and government relations: Strategies from the field

This webinar took place in English. Click here to access the recording (English only).

This webinar is co-hosted by the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) and the Canadian Nurses Association.

As noted in the Ottawa Charter (1986), advocacy is a key action to promote health. It is also a core public health role, in particular when participating in the development of policy to improve health equity. Advocacy offers an entry point for effecting systemic change to address the social determinants of health and promote health equity. It also assists us to translate individual experiences to broader social concerns (NCCDH, 2015a: 5). It can be approached in different ways depending on the type of action we seek (NCCDH, 2015a: 2).

The most impactful advocacy occurs when partners from varying backgrounds come together to amplify their resources and political power (NCCDH, 2015a: 4). This includes partners from the government sector. Influencing public and government policy is the aim of government relations and involves advocating for something influenced or affected by government leaders.

Government relations

This webinar provides insight into the world of government relations in the context of advocating for health equity. The event includes a broad overview of what government relations are and how they work, as well as describing how the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) advocates to the federal government on behalf of nurses and people living in Canada.

The webinar highlights some of CNA’s current government relations and advocacy activities, wins and lessons learned. Speakers share best practices and tips to prepare you for advocacy and government relations efforts in your community or jurisdiction.

Listeners will learn about

  • what government relations and advocacy entails
  • how to engage politicians and government decision makers through various government relations activities and advocacy; and
  • CNA’s advocacy role and work to promote health equity
  • how to get involved and support CNA’s advocacy efforts.


Michael Villeneuve Sarah Nolan
Dr. Claire Betker, RN, MN, CCHN(C), Scientific Director, NCCDH; President, Canadian Nurses Association Michael Villeneuve, RN, M.Sc., FAAN, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Nurses Association Sarah Nolan, Acting Program Lead, Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Nurses Association

Related resources:

NCCDH: Let's Talk: Advocacy and health equity NCCDH: Let's Talk: Public health roles for improving health equity NCCDH: Key public health resources for advocacy and health equity: A curated list
Let’s Talk: Advocacy and health equity (2015a) Let's Talk: Public health roles for improving health equity (2013) Key public health resources for advocacy and health equity: A curated list (2015b)

Click here to access the recording (English only)

  • Presenters:
  • Michael Villeneuve, Sarah Nolan, 
  • Claire Betker
    Claire Betker

    Claire Betker, RN, MN, CCHN(C), PHD

    Scientific Director

    Claire arrived on March 4, 2019, as the NCCDH’s scientific director. A registered nurse, she was most recently the acting Executive Director of the Population and Public Health Branch with Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living. Her career has included roles in rural public health and home health, primary health care, a regional health authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as previously serving as a senior knowledge translation specialist with the NCCDH. Claire is currently the president of the Canadian Nurses Association and a past president of the Community Health Nurses of Canada. Her PhD work focused on the capacity for public health leadership to advance health equity, a knowledge base that greatly informs her contributions to the NCCDH and the public health field. Claire brings a wealth of expertise, rich networks and a passion to translate knowledge and evidence, especially to position public health to advance health equity.

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