2023 in numbers, a year in review

2023 was a year of milestones at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership). From cervical cancer to palliative care, we accomplished a wide range of groundbreaking work with our partners as we get closer to achieving the vision of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (the Strategy).

Here are the highlights, in numbers:

Priorities identified in the pan-Canadian Cancer Data Strategy, the country’s first strategy to focus on cancer-specific data challenges. Launched in July by the Canadian Cancer Society and the Partnership, the initiative outlines a framework to guide efforts to enhance the collection, integration and use of cancer data, and aligns with the Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy.

Disciplines have defined the competencies needed to provide a minimum standard of palliative care. Spiritual care competencies were added to the Canadian Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Competency Framework in 2023. The framework is a curriculum guide and reference manual to help ensure that everyone in Canada has access to an equitable and standardized set of palliative care competencies.

Landmarks across Canada illuminated to mark World Cancer Day, along with our message on the importance of health equity when it comes to cancer care and prevention.


Considerations and shared understandings that inform Beginning the journey into the spirit world: First Nations, Inuit and Métis approaches to palliative and end-of-life care in Canada, a resource created in response to recommendations from Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Carriers, community health professionals and researchers.

Communities will participate in the new Improving Equity in Access to Palliative Care program. Launched by Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC) and the Partnership, the program aims to help communities make measurable improvement in access to palliative care with and for people experiencing homelessness or vulnerable housing. Each of the communities will receive support for four years, including funding of up to $100,000.

Projects supported through the Models of Care funding initiative. Another collaboration between HEC and the Partnership, this initiative helps provinces and territories across Canada explore and implement new models of care – that is, new ways to care for patients – that will improve access, quality and outcomes for everyone, no matter their socio-economic status, race, ethnicity or other factors.

Indicators co-developed to measure the progress of the Strategy. New data was released by the Partnership, in collaboration with the provinces, in July that showcased how different provinces in the country are progressing towards the priorities and actions of the Strategy.

Health, patient and community leaders attended the inaugural Cancer Equity Measurement Forum on Oct. 20 in Toronto. Hosted by the Partnership, this event brought together partners from across Canada to establish a network that co-creates a shared vision and identifies areas of action and opportunities to advance health equity measurement and reporting across the cancer continuum in Canada.

Participants attended a Partnership webinar on healthy eating policies and actions linked to cancer prevention in Canada.


Decision-makers, healthcare professionals, patients, community and equity partners, and other change agents in the health system convened in Halifax for the Pan-Canadian Summit on the Elimination of Cervical Cancer. Reenergized at the Summit, they determined together the next set of actionable steps to eliminate cervical cancer as a country.

Communities will benefit from Partnership-funded initiatives on Peoples-specific, self-determined cancer priorities. Representatives from First Nations, Inuit and Métis partner organizations gathered in Toronto in March to commemorate six years of action, which engaged more than 130 Indigenous governments and included over $24 million of funding from the Partnership.

Researchers, trainees, clinicians, decision-makers and patients attended the Canadian Cancer Research Conference in Halifax to learn about the latest developments in Canadian cancer research and build connections across research disciplines.

HPV tests successfully completed in Prince Edward Island, after it became one of the first provinces to replace Pap tests with HPV testing to detect cervical cancer. P.E.I. is one of seven provinces the Partnership is supporting to advance planning and implementation of HPV screening.

Healthcare providers across Canada received palliative care training and education through partners who received funding from the Patient Reported Outcomes and Early Integration of Palliative Care initiative.


All of these achievements have been made possible because of partners and advocates committed to achieving the Strategy’s vision: a future in which fewer people in Canada develop cancer, more people in Canada survive cancer, people in Canada affected by cancer have a better quality of life and all people in Canada have equitable access to quality cancer care.

With a strong focus on health equity, innovation and collaboration, we will continue to build on this momentum in 2024 and share the progress that Canada is making towards the Strategy.

Thank you for your ongoing support and collaboration. Enjoy the holidays and happy new year!