Cancer Can’t Wait: CCSN Virtual Advocacy Weeks Continue

As cancer care continues to be disrupted by COVID-19, CCSN is continuing its Virtual Advocacy Weeks, meeting with politicians and other decision makers across the country.

Since May that we have met with dozens of Members of Provincial Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies across Canada. While the situation has improved, many cancer patients still find their care disrupted. Further, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has caused some anxiety among patients and caregivers. In addition, CCSN is calling for the expansion of lung cancer screening in order to better catch the disease early on. 

In 2021, CCSN met with nearly 70 politicians and other decision makers to inform them of the significant delays in cancer diagnosis, surgery, and treatment due to the pandemic. In 2022, CCSN has already held virtual meetings with 19 politicians in most provinces of Canada, and meetings will continue throughout the rest of the year.

 Our biggest success was meeting with the Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus, the official opposition in the province. We were joined by our caregiver advocate Jennifer Roy, who hails from Halifax. The Caucus, including former premier Iain Rankin, welcomed the chance to further work with our organization, especially in terms of lung cancer screening.  

In Ontario, we held a meeting in late September with MPP Mike Schreiner. The Guelph politician is the leader of the Ontario Green Party and their only sitting member of parliament. We spoke with him about inadequacies of lung cancer screening in Ontario, and raised the alarm on long-COVID in cancer patients. 

Others we have spoken with also include: 


Sarah Stoodley – Minister of Digital Government and Service NL, Minister Responsible for the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

Minister John Abbott – Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Minister Responsible for the Community Sector, and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

Nova Scotia

Danielle Barkhouse – Chester-St. Margaret’s – PC

New Brunswick 

Sherry Wilson – Moncton South – PC 

Megan Mitton – Memramcook-Tantramar – Green


Adil Samji – Don Valley East – Liberal 


Matt Love – Saskatoon Eastview – NDP

Vicki Mowat – Saskatoon Fairview – NDP

Nicole Sarauer – Regina Douglas Park –  NDP – Critic for Justice, Labour and Education


David Sheperd – Edmonton-Riverview – NDP 

Thomas Dang – Edmonton South – Independent 

British Columbia 

Adam Walker – Parksville-Qualicum – NDP 

John Rustad – Nechako Lakes – Independent 

Niki Sharma – Vancouver-Hastings – NDP 

Dan Coulter -Chilliwack – NDP

Janet Routledge – Burnaby North – NDP

Susie Chant – North Vancouver-Seymour – NDP

Kelli Paddon – Chilliwack-Kent – NDP

CCSN also met with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, including Jillian Code, Jessica Baer and Dave Morhart.

We have meetings coming up in the next few weeks with MLAs and MPPs from across the country and across the political spectrum, including ministers in provincial governments. We will continue to deliver the findings of our survey to all politicians who will listen, and push for more lung cancer screening across the country. CCSN hopes that policy makers will not wait in strengthening cancer care to all Canadians fighting the disease.