Nurses unions plan to get involved in federal election campaigning

HALIFAX — A national nurses union is training its members to spread the message about health care and become a political force during the upcoming federal election campaign.

Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, says they are educating hundreds of members to talk about certain health issues with co-workers, neighbours and political candidates.

Silas said many of the 1,000 nurses at a conference in Halifax this week are going through training on the unions’ priorities for the national vote.

She said she’s not asking nurses to support a particular political party, but to instead elevate health care as a central campaign issue.

The federation is also for the first time planning to apply for third-party status, which will allow it to run ads throughout the campaign.

Silas said their main concerns are health care financing, a national prescription drug care program and care for seniors.

The Canadian Press