Modernized Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control released

Over 7,500 Canadians including healthcare partners informed five priorities to improve cancer care in the next decade

TORONTO (June 4, 2019) – The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) has released the modernized Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. The Strategy is a 10-year roadmap to deliver world-class cancer care to all Canadians, families and caregivers affected by the disease. The Strategy details actions that will improve equity of access to high-quality care, and actions to ensure we have a sustainable healthcare system for the future.

The priorities of the refreshed Strategy will build on advancements in cancer control. The Partnership’s CEO Cynthia Morton says the Strategy provides a bold vision.

We can see that the ability to deliver specialized cancer care virtually with localized supports and caregivers is improving access to care in rural and remote communities. HPV vaccinations will continue to help in the push to eliminate cervical and other related cancers.

And genomics, targeted therapies and immunotherapy are now creating treatment options for cancers that were once untreatable.
-Cynthia Morton

Morton also notes the leadership of the Partnership in helping to spread these changes across the cancer system, “Our organization is proud to act as a pan-Canadian convenor and steward of the Strategy and we will work with our many partners to deliver real change through its implementation, and will keep Canadians informed on our collective progress.”

The original Strategy was developed in 2006. The cancer landscape in Canada and across the world has changed considerably, creating new opportunities and challenges. To address this, the Partnership led efforts to modernize the Strategy through extensive engagements gathering input from over 7,500 Canadians including cancer patients, health care providers, policy makers and many others in the cancer community. The Partnership also engaged First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, governments and organizations about Peoples-specific priorities in cancer care.

The Partnership is the steward of the Strategy and works with those on the front lines in all provinces and territories – cancer agencies, healthcare professionals, not-for-profit organizations, people with cancer, and those who care for them – to address challenges requiring new solutions and pan-Canadian action. The Strategy’s five priorities will tackle the most pressing challenges for the next decade

  1. Decreasing the risk of people getting cancer
  2. Diagnosing cancer faster, accurately and at an earlier stage
  3. Delivering high-quality care in a sustainable, world class system
  4. Eliminating barriers to people getting the care they need
  5. Delivering information and supports for people living with cancer, families and caregivers

Learn more about the priorities of the modernized Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, governments and organizations were engaged across Canada. Three additional priorities are reflected in the refreshed Strategy which are viewed as vital in decreasing the risk of getting cancer, and seeing equitable access to quality care, for Indigenous peoples in this country. Each priority has Peoples-specific actions to help drive the changes needed. These include:

  1. Culturally appropriate care closer to home
  2. Peoples-specific, self-determined cancer care
  3. First Nations-, Inuit- or Métis-governed research and data systems

Continued engagement by the Partnership and partners in the cancer system with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, governments and organizations is critical to developing self-determined, Peoples-specific implementation plans across Canada.


Additional quotes

Cheryl Smith, Reeve (Mayor) of the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent, Manitoba. The community of St. Laurent is the largest Métis community in Canada. She is also an Indigenous Board Member of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

“The refresh of the Strategy identifies what the First Nations, Inuit and Métis nations have articulated as priorities for the delivery of cancer care and the required supports needed to action these priorities in their respective communities. Our Métis community here in Manitoba looks forward to working alongside the Partnership to improve our cancer services in the coming years.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadians living with cancer and their families who are affected by this disease. I want to thank the Partnership for their efforts in leading on the development of the refreshed Strategy and the Canadians who participated in the consultations. Your input was invaluable to its development and its implementation in the future.”

Andrea Seale, Interim CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society and upcoming Board Member of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

“We know a cancer diagnosis can change everything, which is why this bold Strategy to reduce the burden of cancer in Canada is critically important. Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and, at the same time, more people are surviving their diagnosis than ever before. By working collectively with health care partners and stewards like the Partnership and supporting the priorities of the new Strategy, we can improve the cancer experience, helping people live longer and enhancing their quality of life.”

Next steps

The Strategy was presented to the federal Minister of Health, her Ministry colleagues and all members of Parliament. This is Canada’s cancer strategy, built by Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Beginning immediately and running through fall 2019, the Partnership will meet with key stakeholders including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners, patient groups and cancer organizations to discuss the Strategy’s priorities and implementation plans. No single organization has the resources or ability to implement the Strategy by itself, and success will require an active commitment by the entire cancer community, working together, to deliver results. Implementation plans will be developed over the coming months through innovative partnerships with clear and measurable work plans.

Pan-Canadian engagement

The engagement process used in developing the refreshed Strategy proactively invited input from a large and diverse group of Canadians and cancer control partners in all provinces and territories. Thousands of Canadians provided input through an online survey, in-person sessions and written submissions. Participants included patients and caregivers, the general public, health system and cancer community leaders and people who are underserviced by the health system such as recent immigrants, people who identify as LGBTQ2, minority language communities and rural, remote and northern residents. An engagement process with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Elders, advisors, governments, organizations, and communities across Canada also informed the Strategy’s priorities, and a panel of external experts and international changemakers assisted the Partnership throughout the process.

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

As the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (the Strategy), the Partnership works with Canada’s cancer community to take action to ensure fewer people get cancer, more people survive cancer and those living with the disease have a better quality of life. This work is guided by the Strategy, which was refreshed for 2019 to 2029 and will help drive measurable change for all Canadians affected by cancer. The Strategy includes five priorities which will tackle the most pressing challenges in cancer control as well as distinct First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples-specific priorities and actions reflecting Canada’s commitment to reconciliation. The Partnership will oversee the implementation of the priorities in collaboration with organizations and individuals on the front lines of cancer care – the provinces and territories, health-care professionals, people living with cancer and those who care for them, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, governments and organizations, and its funder Health Canada. Learn more about the Partnership and the refreshed Strategy at

For further information, please contact:

Nick Williams, Communications Officer, Media Relations, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, 416-915-9222, x5799 (office), 647-388-9647 (mobile),;