Who We Are

The Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment (CANE)
is a part of the Canadian Nurses Association’s (CNA) Network of Nursing Specialties.
We represent Canadian nurses who are dedicated to the improvement of planetary health*.

*Planetary Health is...

Promoting planetary health means promoting both human health and the health of our natural world, and that is always at the heart of what we do at CANE.

The concept of planetary health is based on the understanding that human health and human civilization depend on flourishing natural systems and the wise stewardship of those natural systems. However, natural systems are being degraded to an extent unprecedented in human history” (Whitmee et al., 2015).

Planetary health is a recognition of the fact that human health depends on healthy natural environments/ecosystems, and moreover, that we as a civilization find ourselves at a tipping point. We have depended on our natural systems to promote human health to the point where the human population is healthier than ever before, but to achieve this, we have exploited the planet at an unprecedented rate. If we want to continue to safeguard human health, we also need to maintain the health of the planet and its natural systems on which we depend.

History

Since the 1990’s, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has advocated for the health of the environment, collaborating with organizations such as Friends of the Earth, the Canadian Medical Association, and the Canadian Public Health Association, in producing guidelines and position statements on issues concerning environmental health (CNA & Friends of the Earth 1995, CNA 2009a, CNA 2009b). However, nurses were expressing concerns to the CNA regarding their lack of preparation in assessing or preventing environmental health issues, best practice guidelines in reducing toxics in health care, and the lack of public policy focused on what we now call planetary health.
Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment
Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment

In 2007, the CNA conducted a nurses’ survey on environmental health (CNA 2008a). Results found that nurses lacked training tools for reducing or preventing health consequences of environmental hazards. That same year, the CNA organized six public focus groups across Canada, where Canadians identified air pollution, workplace chemicals, second-hand smoke and pesticides as environmental health issues. Participants also reported that nurses were very well respected and admired by the public, perceived as professional, knowledgeable and caring, and credible in providing information about environmental health (CNA 2008a).

Environment and health were then chosen as key themes of the CNA 2008 centennial celebrations with a view to intensify environmental involvement by and for nurses. The CNA received federal government funding to hire a manager to lead the project, and invited nurses across the country to join in this initiative focused on environmental health. The main goals of the project were to increase nurses’ awareness of environmental health issues and provide them with the tools and information they needed to support environmental health in the domains of nursing practice, education, research and policy.

Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment
Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment

At the end of the project, some members felt a strong need to continue to work on issues of advancing nursing in environmental health. First known as the Canadian Nursing Environmental Health Group (CNA n.d.) and subsequently Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment, the organization’s foundation was set. Since then, this group of passionate, like-minded nurses from coast to coast across Canada has evolved into the very active association known today as the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment (CANE).

Mission

Our mission is to promote planetary health among nurses and people in Canada and globally.
We achieve this by engaging with advocacy, education, research, practice, and policy at all levels of nursing and society.

Objectives

CANE achieves its mission through the following objectives:

Develop
Develop
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To develop and support evidence-informed nursing practice that promotes planetary health and enhances the engagement of nurses in the promotion of planetary health in all domains of nursing practice and care contexts.
Enhance
Enhance
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Enhance the profile of nurses’ work in planetary health at local, provincial, national, and international levels.
Support
Support
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To support and advance evidence-informed nursing research, education, and scholarship pertaining to planetary health and to provide a forum where nurses are able to effectively discuss and transfer this knowledge and expertise with one another and beyond.
Unify
Unify
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To unify Canadian nurses’ voices so as to advocate for policy development and legislation that supports planetary health.
Commit
Commit
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To adopt a stance of intersectionality in our work, acknowledging that our identities, class, and social location interact and intersect in such ways that persons and populations experience different levels of oppression and privilege in our society. We commit to learning and unlearning about our privileges and about the oppressive forces of our society; and how these may show up in nursing, our organization, and our work. We commit to working with antiracist and decolonial practices to achieve cultural humility and a more just society. To this end, we acknowledge that our work occurs on the traditional and often unceded territories of many Indigenous Nations both across the north of Turtle Island and beyond.

Executive Board

The CANE Executive Board is composed of several dedicated, informed leaders from across Canada who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about planetary health, and its impacts on nursing, the health care system, and society at large (click on images to view more about each member)

President:

Jessica Madrid –
RN, BScN, MSc

President-Elect:

Jacqueline (Jack) Avanthay Strus –
RN, MSN, PhD(c)

Past-President:

Jennifer Morin –
RN MN, CAE

Treasurer:

June Kaminski –
RN, BSN, MSN, PhD(c)

Secretary:

Raluca Radu –
RN, BSN MSN

Communications Officer:

British Columbia Representative:

Helen Boyd –
RN, BScN, MA Counselling

Alberta Representative:

Maya Reshef Kalogirou –
RN, PhD

Saskatchewan Representative:

Wanda Martin –
RN PhD

Manitoba Representative:

Marilyne Tovar –
RN, BScN

Ontario Representative:

Hilda Swirsky –
RN, BScN, MEd

Quebec Representative:

Fiona Hanley –
RN, BA, BScN, MSc

Northwest Territories Representative:

Julia Janicki –
RN, BFA, BSN

Atlantic Region Representative:

Northern Region Representative:

Constitution and Bylaws

CANE-AIIE governance is outlined in our Constitution and Bylaws. The following pdf document outlines the details of this structure.

CANE Provincial -Territorial Representatives

Connect with one of our Provincial or Territorial Representatives and get active in your province, territory, or region!

Committees

To fulfill our mission and achieve our objectives, CANE carries out much of our work through our committees. All CANE members are invited and encouraged to participate in the work of our committees. Join our Education, Public Relations or Intersectionality Committee today!

partnerships

CANE is honoured to work with several organizations around the world to achieve our objectives.
If you are part of an organization that wishes to partner with CANE, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Our Key Partnerships

Contact CANE-AIIE

If you have questions about CANE or would like to get in touch with us for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact us through the form below!

Canadian Nurses Association & Friends of the Earth (1995). Healing the sky: Strategies for health and
ozone layer protection. Ottawa: CNA.

Canadian Nurses Association (2009a). Nurses and Environmental Health.
https://www.cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/nurses-and-environmental-health-position-statement.pdf

Canadian Nurses Association & Canadian Medical Association (2009b). Toward an Environmentally
Responsible Canadian Health Sector. https://www.cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/jps_env_resp_e.pdf?la=en

Canadian Nurses Association. (2008a). Nurses and environmental health: Survey results.
https://www.cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/survey_results_e.pdf?la=en

Canadian Nurses Association (2008b). Climate Change Workshop Proceedings.
https://cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/climate_change_workshop_2008_e.pdf

Canadian Nurses Association (2008c). Environment Health and Nursing [PowerPoint Slides]. CNA.

Canadian Nurses Association (n.d.) Nursing and Environmental Health: Resources.
https://cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/environmental_handout_e.pdf

Whitmee, S., Haines, A., Beyrer, C., Boltz, F., Capon, A. G., de Souza Dias, B. F., Ezeh, A., Frumkin, H., Gong, P., Head, P., Horton, R., Mace, G. M., Marten, R., Myers, S. S., Nishtar, S., Osofsky, S. A., Pattanayak, S. K., Pongsiri, M. J., Romanelli, C., … Yach, D. (2015). The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on planetary health: Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch. Report of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on planetary health. The Lancet, 386, 1973-2028. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60901-1/fulltext