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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)
  • Presenters:
  • Claire Betker

    , Inf. aut., M. N., CCHN(C), Ph. D.

    Directrice scientifique

    Infirmière autorisée, Claire Betker est directrice scientifique du CCNDS depuis mars 2019. Elle occupait auparavant le poste de directrice administrative de la vie active, de la santé de la population et de la santé publique à Santé, Aînés et Vie active Manitoba. Au cours de sa carrière, Claire a occupé des postes en santé publique rurale et à domicile ainsi qu’en soins primaires. Elle a également travaillé pour une autorité régionale de santé, pour l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada et comme spécialiste principale du transfert des connaissances au CCNDS. Elle a été présidente de l’Association des infirmières et infirmiers du Canada et aussi d’Infirmières et Infirmiers en santé communautaire du Canada. Son doctorat portait principalement sur la capacité des cadres de direction de la santé publique à faire progresser l’équité en santé, un savoir grandement mis à contribution dans son travail pour le CCNDS et le milieu et le domaine de la santé publique. Elle met la richesse de ses connaissances spécialisées, ses vastes réseaux de contacts et sa passion au service de l’application des connaissances et des données probantes, particulièrement pour faire jouer à la santé publique un rôle de premier plan dans l’avancement de l’équité en santé.

    [email protected]