Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer?
  2. What is cancer control?
  3. Why do we need a national strategy for cancer control?
  4. Do other countries have similar cancer strategies?
  5. How will the Partnership improve cancer outcomes in Canada?
  6. Does the Partnership work with other cancer organizations?
  7. How can I get involved with cancer control efforts?
  8. What is the history of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer?
  9. How is the Partnership funded?
  10. Is the Partnership a federal government agency?
  11. Aren’t there already a lot of cancer organizations? What is different about the Partnership?
  12. How does the Partnership set its priorities?
  13. How does the Partnership support Aboriginal communities?
  14. How does the Partnership share information about the impact of the strategy?
  15. How does the Partnership measure its performance?
  16. Does the Partnership have a Board of Directors?
  17. What is the focus of the Board of Directors?
  18. Does the Partnership compensate the Board of Directors?
  19. What are your procurement policies for vendors?
  20. How does the Partnership’s work benefit Canadians?
  21. How can I contact the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer?


1. What is the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer? 

As the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, the Partnership works with partners to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. Our partner network – cancer agencies, health system leaders and experts, and people affected by cancer – brings a wide variety of expertise to every aspect of our work. After 10 years of collaboration, we are accelerating work that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer control system, aligning shared priorities and mobilizing positive change across the cancer continuum. From 2017-2022, our work is organized under five themes in our strategic plan: quality, equity, seamless patient experience, maximize data impact, sustainable system. The Partnership continues to support the work of the collective cancer community in achieving our shared 30-year goals: a future in which fewer people get cancer, fewer die from cancer and those living with the disease have a better quality of life. The Partnership was created by the federal government in 2006 to move the Strategy into action and receives ongoing funding from Health Canada to continue leading the Strategy with partners from across Canada.


2. What is cancer control?

Cancer control involves the entire population. It is not limited to those who have been diagnosed with cancer and are being treated within the cancer-care system. Rather, cancer control spans prevention, screening and early detection, clinical and patient-centred care, cancer guidelines, research and surveillance (the gathering and analysis of data related to cancer), survivorship, palliative and end-of-life care.


3. Why do we need a national strategy for cancer control?

While there have been improvements, cancer remains a significant health challenge due to its prevalence, complexity and gravity:  approximately 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and 1 in 4 will die from it, making it the leading cause of death. At the same time, advances in cancer screening, early detection and treatment have resulted in people living longer with cancer, and an increased number of cancer survivors.

Against the backdrop of Canada’s federated health model, where provinces and territories are responsible for planning and delivering cancer care, the significant burden of cancer means that it is too complex for any one organization or jurisdiction to tackle alone. Since 2002, the World Health Organization has been urging countries to develop national cancer control programs as the best means for reducing the incidence and impact of cancer and improving the quality of life for those with the disease.


4. Do other countries have similar cancer strategies?

The United Kingdom, AustraliaNew Zealand, Ireland and France are among the countries that have national cancer control strategies.


5. How will the Partnership improve cancer outcomes in Canada?

The Partnership’s role is to increase efficiencies and accelerate cancer control in Canada. It does this by convening, integrating, catalyzing and brokering knowledge to improve partners’ ability to make good decisions, act more quickly, and do more with less. In the long-term, with sustained effort, this will help to reduce the incidence of cancer, lessen the likelihood of Canadians dying from cancer and enhance the quality of life for those affected by cancer.


6. Does the Partnership work with other cancer organizations?

The Partnership works with cancer patients and survivors, whose perspectives inform the collaborative work taking place, as well as provincial and territorial cancer programs; federal organizations and agencies; national health organizations; and First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations.


7. How can I get involved with cancer control efforts?

Opportunities within the Partnership are posted on the Partnership website and publicly advertised as needs arise. Additionally, please consider working directly with partner organizations, for example by volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society or a member organization of the Canadian Cancer Action Network.


8. What is the history of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer?

The Partnership is the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. This vision to reduce the burden of cancer in Canada was developed over a decade by stakeholders who advocated the federal government for its funding. The Partnership opened its doors in 2007 with an initial five year mandate to implement the strategy.


9. How is the Partnership funded?

The Partnership is funded by the federal government through Health Canada. Funding during the Partnership’s first mandate (2007-12) totalled $250 million; funding for the Partnership’s second mandate, from 2012-17, totals $241 million. In March 2016, the federal government announced ongoing funding for the Partnership


10. Is the Partnership a federal government agency?

While the Partnership receives federal funding, it operates at arm’s length from government. It is accountable to Health Canada through a contribution agreement, and the federal government has representation on its Board of Directors.


11. Aren’t there already a lot of cancer organizations? What is different about the Partnership?

While cancer care is a key part of each province and territory’s health programs, and Canada has many cancer charities and research organizations working to improve outcomes, the Partnership is the only organization with a national focus on the full cancer control continuum – from prevention through to palliative care. The benefit of an organization like the Partnership is its role in bringing together other organizations that make up Canada’s cancer community to work together on shared priorities – making progress faster and more cost-effective than if they were working separately.


12. How does the Partnership set its priorities?

After 10 years of collaboration, we are accelerating work that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer control system, aligning shared priorities and mobilizing positive change across the cancer continuum. From 2017-2022, our work is organized under five themes in our strategic plan: quality, equity, seamless patient experience, maximize data impact, sustainable system.


13. How does the Partnership support Aboriginal communities?

Working with national Aboriginal organizations, cancer agencies, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, the Public Health Agency of Canada and others the Partnership is building on innovative work by Canada’s First Peoples to improve cancer control among these communities. The Partnership recently facilitated the development of a First Nations, Inuit and Métis Action Plan on Cancer Control in collaboration with the “National Aboriginal Organizations Caucus with Canadian Partnership Against Cancer”, which has representation from the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.


14. How does the Partnership share information about the impact of the strategy?

The Partnership regularly shares information about work underway and the positive impact of the cancer strategy. This information is available on this website, in annual reports and through the monthly e-Bulletin. Subscribe to the e-Bulletin


15. How does the Partnership measure its performance?

The Partnership takes a multifaceted approach to performance management that includes its performance measurement strategy, regular evaluation of progress towards its goals, and other internal mechanisms to enable an ongoing focus on outcomes. Developed with input from and review by key partners, notably provincial cancer agencies and programs and the Canadian Cancer Society, the organization’s performance measurement strategy identifies specific and measurable outcomes the Partnership worked to achieve, with its partners, by the end of its second mandate in 2017. With sustained effort beyond 2017, these outcomes will translate into broader impact in support of our collective long-term cancer control goals.

Additional mechanisms in place to evaluate the Partnership’s performance on an ongoing basis include:

  • An independent third-party evaluation conducted every mandate (5 years) to measure the overall performance of the Partnership in achieving the outcomes identified in the national cancer control strategy. Independent evaluations were conducted in 2010 and 2015, and the next independent evaluation will be conducted in 2020.
  • An annual audit of financial statements by an independent auditor in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. This is made available to the public in the Annual Report, which is another means the organization reports on its progress.
  • A corporate plan that is submitted annually to Health Canada.


16. Does the Partnership have a Board of Directors?

The Partnership’s Board of Directors is highly engaged in the Partnership’s work and is a key mechanism for overseeing the organization’s accountability to Canadians. Reflecting the diversity of stakeholders in the cancer community, the Board of Directors includes federal and provincial government appointees, regional representatives, policy experts and leaders in cancer control, representatives from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies, and individuals providing expertise, perspectives and insights from the patient, survivor and Aboriginal communities. Highlights of Board meetings are available online.


17. What is the focus of the Board of Directors?

The Partnership’s Board of Directors is responsible for the overall governance of the organization including strategic leadership and direction, monitoring and assessing performance, financial oversight, and oversight of management.  The Board meets four times per year and has the following sub-committees: Executive, Performance, Finance & Audit, Human Capital and Governance & Nominating. From time to time, the Board creates ad-hoc or time-limited oversight committees to ensure more detailed reviews of progress monitoring and risk management through planning and implementation. The Board appoints an external auditor annually and receives the auditor’s report to ensure that best financial practices are observed. Highlights of Board meetings are made publicly available.


18. Does the Partnership compensate the Board of Directors?

Compensation for members of the Board of Directors is based on positions held, such as Chair, Vice Chair or subcommittee membership and attendance at meetings. Government-appointed directors who are employed by federal/provincial governments receive no remuneration.


19. What are your procurement policies for vendors?

The Partnership has a procurement policy identifying the principles and requirements used in procuring goods and services that are paid for by the Partnership whether directly or indirectly. Given that the Partnership is a federally-funded organization, its procurement policy provides a mechanism for probity and accountability and for demonstrating value for money in how taxpayer dollars are used.


 20. How does the Partnership’s work benefit Canadians?

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is focused on reducing the burden of cancer on Canadians.  While a cancer strategy alone will not cure cancer, it does provide a clear plan and a set of actions that will build on the strengths of Canada’s cancer system and patient communities. Inherent in a strategy is the concept of making conscious and informed choices about using resources to achieve the maximum impact for the whole population.


21. How can I contact the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer?

Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
145 King Street West, Suite 900
Toronto ON M5H 1J8

Tel: (416) 915-9222
Toll free: 1 (877) 360-1665
Fax: (416) 915-9224
Email: info@partnershipagainstcancer.ca