Jun 02, 2023

Canadian Business Leaders Celebrated at Vancouver Awards Dinner  

On Thursday, June 1 we hosted a celebratory evening in Vancouver for two of Canada’s most influential business leaders, Ryan Beedie and Karen Flavelle.  The evening was filled with great music, dancing and some sweet treats from Purdys Chocolatier. 

Ryan Beedie, Canadian Business Leader of the Year Honouree

Ryan Beedie, the 2023 Canadian Business Leader of the Year honouree. He was joined last evening by his wife Cindy and his son Trevor.

Karen Flavelle, Canadian Business Leader Lifetime Achievement Honouree

Karen Flavelle, the 2023 Canadian Business Leader Lifetime Achievement Honouree. She was joined last evening by her husband Jamie, her son Scott and her father, Charles.

“I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to be here celebrating the best of our business community”

Perrin Beatty, CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Honorees and guests were treated to special performance by world-renowned jazz musician and singer Brian Newman. Splitting his time between touring with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett and leading his own quartet with his crooner jazz revival and signature expert trumpeting, Newman made our attendees feel as if they are a part of his performance.

To see a list of all our past recipients and to find out more details on our 2023 honorees please visit our Canadian Business Leader Awards page.

We want to thank all the staff at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and all our event sponsors who helped to make the night a great success.


Jun 02, 2023

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Launches Partnership with CIBT

For immediate release. June 2, 2023

CIBT Inc. [CIBT], the leading global provider of immigration and visa services, is pleased to announce the launch of a partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Through this partnership, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will have access to CIBT’s professional expertise and knowledge database on a wide-range of immigration-related services.

CIBT was founded in 1989, with an initial focus on assisting business travelers in obtaining travel visas and other related documents required for international travel. Since then, CIBT has expanded its focus of operations to include immigration-related visas, document services, and the full spectrum of international work authorizations. CIBT works with corporations of all sizes; from small start-ups, to many of the companies on the Fortune 500.  

Through this partnership, Chamber of Commerce members will have access to CIBT’s services, and to gain assistance in immigration-related tasks such as acquiring business visas for international travel and work authorizations for foreign workers. In addition, CIBT provides a full spectrum of document services for international business. This includes time-consuming tasks such document legalisations and obtaining export shipping documents.

CIBT also maintains a comprehensive database of immigration and visa information, updated by on-staff professionals, daily, alllowing CIBT to help its clients maintain compliance with the vast array of international trade and mobility regulations. Regulatory compliance is often a challenge for businesses, especially when working across international borders. CIBT works closely with government agencies around the world, including Customs and Border services. By working with these agencies, CIBT can ease the process of moving goods across borders, while helping to ensure all current government regulations and practices are met.  

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing over 400 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 businesses of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance.

CIBT employs more than 1,600 expert immigration and visa professionals, attorneys and qualified migration consultants located in over 60 offices in 27 countries. To learn more about CIBT and its services please visit us here.

For more information, please contact Anick DeSousa at


Jun 01, 2023

Creating a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Economy

At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, we believe that diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are central and essential to fairness of opportunity, competitiveness of business, economic growth and our nation’s prosperity. Working with the Canadian Chamber Network of chambers of commerce and boards of trade and their members, from across the country, we advocate for an economy that works for all Canadians, and particularly, for underrepresented segments of the population who continue to experience barriers to full participation and success in the economy.

The Canadian Chamber’s Inclusive Growth Awards recognize chambers of commerce, boards of trade and their members across the country, that do exceptional work to remove barriers and create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive economy. These awards also recognize Indigenous and other underrepresented entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence in innovation and social impact.

Eligibility Requirements

Nominations are open to chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Canada and their members:

  1. Awards recipients from chambers of commerce and boards of trade will demonstrate they have implemented successful initiatives to advance economic reconciliation or increase diversity, equity, inclusion or accessibility in their organizational operations (e.g., programming, community outreach and engagement, partnerships, mentorship programs, etc.)
  2. Awards recipients from members of chambers of commerce and boards of trade will demonstrate they have implemented successful initiatives to advance economic reconciliation or increase diversity, equity, inclusion or accessibility in their business operations (e.g., recruitment and retention programs, business partnerships, mentorship and sponsorship programs, creating accessible and inclusive workplaces, community engagement, etc.)
  3. Awards recipients from Indigenous and other underrepresented entrepreneurs in Canada, that are members of chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Canada, will have owned their business for a minimum of one year; belong to an equity-deserving group (women, Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGTBQ+, new Canadians and entrepreneurs with disabilities); and have demonstrated excellence in innovation and social impact.

Nomination forms should be fully completed and submitted by Friday, July 28, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to the nomination form, underrepresented entrepreneurs need to complete the self-identification form which is part of the nomination form.


May 29, 2023

Helping Farmers Weather Climate Change

Bayer’s FieldView™ platform helps farmers maximize yields and manage risks using personalized data, real-time insights and satellite imagery.

Canadian farmers are acclimated to living and working in one of the most diverse weather systems in the world. Yet as major storms and weather events like floods and drought become increasingly unpredictable and severe, the impact on agriculture can be devastating.

“Farmers are on the front lines of weathering climate change; weather can impact farmers from the start of seeding to the final harvest,” says Al Driver, Country Division Head, Bayer Crop Science Canada “All weather events can impact the volume and quality of the crop. With the increasing frequency and severity of weather events farmers crop and agronomic decisions become so critical.”

Farming as the Solution

To support farmers, Bayer is unlocking products and solutions to make agriculture more climate-resilient, resource-efficient and sustainable. At the same time, it’s developing breakthrough innovations that flip current thinking on its head.

“When we think about climate change, we see farmers as part of the solution,” Al explains. “For example, we are reimagining the potential of the world’s massive tracts of farmland poised to pull carbon back into the ground, where it benefits crops and also the environment.”

Bayer’s FieldView™ platform provides farmers with data-powered, real-time insights and satellite imagery. “FieldView™ enables smart carbon practices that can reduce soil erosion; support better soil water retention and nutrient availability for crops; increase soil organic matter accumulation; enable higher crop productivity,” says Matt Eves, Digital Farming Solutions Lead – Canada.

Technology Connected to Sustainability

Just as climate and weather are evolving, so too are our products to withstand weather events and better protect the environment.

Technology helps us farm more sustainably. Overall, we’re using less to produce more and that certainly has benefits in terms of the environmental impact.

Ontario Farmer.

“With industry-leading R&D investments that are bringing more technology to North American farmers than ever before, we prioritize breeding innovations, Crop Protection products and digital solutions that maximize yield potential and focus on stronger healthier plants that need fewer inputs and fewer trips across the field with farming equipment,” Al says.

For example, Bayer’s new BUTEO® start protects canola seed needs against flea beetle pressure, enabling a stronger plant right off the start, even in dry conditions. Transformative products in the pipeline include Bayer’s Smart Corn System with Short Stature Corn, which provides improved standability in difficult weather and more optimized and targeted use of crop protection and nitrogen fertilizer in season.

“The data and insights provided by tools like FieldView™, with accurate predictive models to forecast and respond to issues, coupled with our trust in the strength of our seeds and traits (e.g., corn, soybean and canola) and crop protection technologies, allow us to explore new business models that share some of the risk and provide more reliable revenue streams for farmers as they navigate a more volatile climate,” Al says. “We are both energized and humbled by the opportunity to help shape the future of agriculture to the greater benefit of farmers and our planet.”


May 15, 2023

3 Ways Inflation Is Blocking Your Path to Business Success

It’s no secret that inflation in Canada has been volatile since the pandemic. Last year, the inflation rate was at its highest since 1991.

A recent Reuters report forecasts that inflation will hover between 3% and 4% until the end of 2023, meaning that the spending decisions of Canadian customers will impact the profit margins of the businesses they patronize.

Fortunately, while Canada’s inflation rate is decreasing, there are ways to get ahead of the curve by learning more about how it affects businesses in Canada.

3 Small Business Dangers of High Inflation

Here are three ways that inflation is affecting small and medium-sized businesses in Canada:

High inflation results in higher prices for goods and services, reducing the purchasing power of consumers and business owners. Additionally, higher prices lead to narrower profit margins as businesses try to remain competitive, which is challenging when spending decreases and prices increase.

Inflation also leads to increased interest rates on borrowing products, including business loans, lines of credit and credit cards. The Bank of Canada (BoC) sets the prime rate to control inflation, and banks and other lending institutions adjust their interest rates accordingly.

Inflation can hinder the ability of business owners to borrow money to keep their businesses running and make it take longer to repay borrowing products with variable interest rates.

Small business owners should consider using AI business tools that compare multiple credit products based on their financials, like Cubeler, an AI-powered platform that can compare prequalified business financing products and fast-track credit offers—via the Cubeler Business Hub.

Rising inflation also affects wages and, in turn, can hurt your staff retention efforts.

As the cost of goods and services—and, consequently, the cost of living—increases with inflation, the demand for higher wages, a reasonable expectation for Canadian workers, increases.

But wage hikes, unfortunately, put even more pressure on Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises, which must provide competitive compensation to retain employees.

The Future Looks Bright, but There’s Still Some Time before Inflation Cools Down

Fighting and keeping up with inflation is no easy feat, but it’s manageable. While the inflation rate is high, it is forecast to decrease by next year.

In the meantime, SMEs can modify their inventory, make deals with suppliers, find the right business financing and put some entrepreneurial creativity into their business strategy to streamline their operations.

Connect with Cubeler Business Hub on LinkedIn:


May 09, 2023

Policy Matters: Women & the Economy In Canada

Canada’s long-term growth and prosperity requires maximizing every Canadian’s full participation in the economy. Unfortunately, as it stands, Canada has a way to go in creating the right conditions for that to become a reality.

Women still face systemic barriers when it comes to equal access to economic opportunity – leaving $150 billion in incremental GDP on the table.


Women typically bear the brunt of domestic responsibilities, including childcare and eldercare. This additional labour often strains their professional lives in a way that’s not necessarily experienced to the same degree by their male counterparts.

In business, women face barriers including microaggressions, burnout, pay inequity, discrimination, lack of professional development and growth, as well as a lack of mentors and allies.

And crucially, Canada continues to have a gendered economy where women are overrepresented in low-paying jobs and sectors and underrepresented in well paid jobs and high-growth, high-impact sectors of the economy.

The fact is, at every level of government – federal, provincial/territorial and municipal – every (yes, EVERY) policy and spending decision has the potential to either advance or hinder economic gender parity.


In the 2023 federal budget, areas of focus included affordability, growing the green economy, public health and dental care – all policy areas with huge potential to address systemic barriers for women.

Unfortunately, the measures fell short.

One of the most highlighted items included the one-time “grocery rebate”. This measure had good intentions – benefit 11 million low and modest-income Canadians and families with a payment ranging from $234-$467 that could be spent to cover the cost of groceries (or anything else).

The problem? It’s a band aid solution. A one-time “groceries rebate” isn’t going to do much to meaningfully support women in the long run, trying their best to pay their bills or single mothers struggling to put food on the table and cover their children’s basic needs. Poverty is complex, multidimensional, and often intergenerational. A “one-time” rebate won’t cut it. It needed to be supported by longer-term measures as well.

Another example is the supports in the budget for the growth of the green economy – these aren’t likely to have any short- or medium-term clear benefits for Canadian women. The sectors at the receiving end of the federal government’s supports (electrification, clean energy and manufacturing, emissions reduction, critical minerals, infrastructure, electric vehicle and batteries, and major projects) have been male dominated for a long time.

So, what WOULD get to the root of the barriers facing Canadian women?


A long-term, comprehensive strategy that includes policy supports and investments in things like:

Childcare: ensuring all the pieces needed for the meaningful implementation of affordable childcare are in place. The federal government’s investment in a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system is a big step in the right direction, but it won’t mean much if there are no policy supports addressing issues of access, ensuring there are enough spaces to keep up with demand, a high quality of delivery and workforce planning and development, decent wages and training for staff…the list goes on.

Up-skilling & re-skilling: ensuring there are meaningful and targeted investments around re-skilling and up-skilling to support women and ensure they have access to the opportunities brought by the green and digital transitions. 


While policy solutions are needed at the government level, we in the business community can’t just sit back and wait for change to come from the top down.

Gender parity isn’t a “women’s” issue – it’s an economic one, and the success and prosperity of our businesses and our economy depend on us acting now.

Here are just a few things you can do as a:

These are just a few options. Want to learn more? Check out the resources below and keep an eye on the work of our Council for Women’s Advocacy.


Our third annual Women in Business Summit will be taking place virtually Wednesday June 14, 2023.

From representation of women in high-growth sectors, leadership, entrepreneurship and traditionally “male-dominated” sectors, you won’t want to miss the policy discussions and action items coming out of this year’s event!

Registration opens on Wednesday May 10 – keep an eye on your inbox for our email!







May 09, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Executive Summit: What We Heard

We kicked off the fourth event in our 2023 Executive Summit Series on Wednesday, May 3 with an in-depth discussion on the current state of diversity and inclusion in corporate Canada and the different ways through which the private sector is making progress and moving from awareness to action.

Read on for the Summit’s key takeaways!

Diversity is a fact; inclusion is a choice.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Keynote Address and Fireside Chat: The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Key Takeaways:

  • We as Canadians need to work towards better outcomes towards diversity, equity and inclusion. It is not only the right thing to do, but also the right economic thing to do. Ultimately, as a country and society, the more we strive for diversity, the stronger and more resilient we will become.
  • It is important to engage communities on policies that affect them most. By consulting directly with certain groups, we gain access to an untapped source of cultural and societal wealth and competence.
  • Minister Hussen mentioned that it is important to ensure our diplomatic core reflects how Canada looks.
  • In terms of the private sector’s progress in the DEI space, Minister Hussen spoke to the huge strides we’ve made in reconciliation with Indigenous people, including resource co-management; more has happened in the last seven years than the last 30 years combined.
  • We also need to bring racialized Canadians into the workforce and leadership space because this is not happening to the extent that it should be. Peoples’ response is often “Well, at least we’re not as bad as the Americans…”, but that is not good enough.
  • When working to build an inclusive and diverse Canada, it is important to get into hard-to-reach communities and ensure people have access to the positions that will implement change.
  • We also need to ask ourselves how government programs can be re-arranged and become more accessible. For example, those who need government assistance most often do not file taxes, which is primarily how to access these untapped funds. Intermediaries can be hired to help people file taxes, so they have access to the benefits they need.

There are clear business advantages to DEI that are backed up by data

Sandra Odendahl, SVP & Head of Sustainability and Diversity, BDC

Fireside chat: Sandra Odendahl, SVP & Head of Sustainability and Diversity, BDC

Key Takeaways:

  • Sandra began by addressing that DEI is not an HR issue; we need to acknowledge how this plays a role in business, community and other areas of life. She acknowledged this was a real eye opener around the time of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020.
  • When discussing why DEI is important to business, Sandra emphasized that gender-diverse and ethnically diverse companies consistently perform better in innovation, profits and employee retention. When different perspectives and world views come together, rich innovative thinking is produced.
  • Ultimately, people want to work, despite the increased usage of labels like ‘conscious quitting’ and ‘quiet quitting’. The fact is, employees are leaving workplaces that are not aligning with their values to go to companies that do, specifically with an eminent reputation for ESG.
  • ESG not only matters to employees, but investors too. It increases bankability because companies become more robust and it is evident that there are clear business advantages that are backed up by data.
  • Sandra gave actionable strategies on how to prioritize DEI as a Canadian business owner.
    • Talk to your employees – feedback is essential.
    • Aim for a diverse group on your short list while hiring. You can do this by hiding the names within CVs throughout the hiring process to help eliminate any unconscious biases.
    • Do team learning and training on diversity because everyone has unconscious biases.
    • Recognize the different holidays your employees celebrate.

There are systems created for us but not by us.

Juliet Turpin, Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility, Randstad Canada

Panel Moderator:

Shakiba Shayani, President & CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce 


Kate Lister, Senior Assistant Vice President, Communications, Culture & Talent, Canadian Western Bank

Émilie Nketiah, Vice President of Talent & Culture, Transdev Canada

Lena Rupp, CFO and Head of Business Services, BASF Canada

Juliet Turpin, Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility, Randstad Canada

Key Takeaways:

  • At the beginning of the session, panelists were asked what the current state of DEI is in corporate Canada and the progress we’ve seen. Speakers discussed how there seems to be a difference in how expectations are managed. It is less taboo to have difficult conversations, such as calling out micro aggressions.
  • Speakers also discussed that accountability is driving better outcomes within organizations.
  • In terms of what needs more focus, panelists emphasized the need to realize that DEI is an ongoing journey – it is not about checking a few boxes and moving on. It is important to recognize and compensate people in organizations who are leading DEI initiatives.
  • The fact is people are turning to businesses to find solutions to diversity and inclusion – they aren’t looking to government or media to have the answers.  
  • A common theme in the panel was the emphasis on the importance of diverse people needing to be at the decision-making table. We must elevate them to the place where they are creating and co-architecting solutions. Otherwise, we get to the point again where the people most effected have not been a part of the planning.
  • Cancel culture has inadvertently left people afraid to make big changes and do something different. Fear must be disabled, otherwise people end up doing nothing when they don’t know what to do and want to avoid mistakes, which are inevitable!
  • Because of the sensitivity of the topic, there can be emotional back lash in these conversations that we need to be prepared for.
  • Panelists ended the session stating that diversity without inclusion will become your biggest deficit and problem. Inclusion is being invited to the table and creating the solutions, which are the behavioural changes we must focus on.

Be sure to check out the upcoming sessions as part of our #ExecutiveSummitSeries.

To read about the advocacy work our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council is doing to advance inclusive growth, click here.

Thank You to Our Excellence Sponsors


May 08, 2023

Are You Managing Episodic Disabilities in Your Workplace?

Realize offers resources on episodic disability, workplace accommodation and working with Long COVID for human resource professionals, managers, business leaders and employees.

The challenges of Long COVID, mental health issues and other episodic disabilities are playing out in workplaces across Canada.  “Combined data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Canadian Income Survey shed new light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence of disability in the workplace. Among those who were employed during the first four months of 2021, more than one in five (21.5%) had a physical, mental health, cognitive or other disability. This was an increase of 2.7 percentage points compared with 2019 (18.8%), continuing a long-term upward trend associated with population aging and other factors.” (Statistics Canada, 2022) Many researchers expect this increase to continue and even accelerate in 2023.

At Realize, our ground-breaking work on episodic disabilities and employment is informed by ongoing consultation with employers, HR professionals, employees, disability thought leaders/organizations and researchers. We consistently hear that people feel overwhelmed when trying to navigate what this rise in disability means in the workplace. Realize has a strong history of developing effective online courses, and we are happy to announce the launch of five courses tailored to the information needs of Human Resource professionals, managers, business leaders and employees living with episodic disability. Two of these courses have a specific focus on working with an episodic disability in the context of COVID.

Follow the links below to find out more!

An Introduction to Episodic Disabilities

This self-directed online course is designed to augment the knowledge and understanding of human resources professionals, supervisors and managers who form the primary support system at work for people living with episodic disabilities.

Accommodating Workplaces: Episodic Disabilities and Leading Practices at Work

This online course for human resource professionals and employees builds on the key concepts of what episodic disabilities are and the challenges faced by people living with episodic disabilities and goes deep into communication practices, universal workplace design, accessible design and more.

Understanding and Supporting Employees with Episodic Disabilities

This course is designed with human resource professionals, managers and supervisors in mind. It includes helpful guidelines on how to start an accommodation plan conversation with an employee living with an episodic disability. It also provides a helpful template to enact this plan that is in compliance with relevant legislation.

Working with an Episodic Disability in the Context of COVID-19

This course is designed for human resources professionals, managers and supervisors who want to better accommodate their diverse employees in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changing Jobs with an Episodic Disability in the Context of COVID-19

An online course for supervisors, human resource managers and employers designed to bring awareness and understanding of how to accommodate new employees living with episodic disabilities as they are hired into your organizations. It also provides additional resources and instruction on adapting to new ways of working.

Episodic Disabilities at Work Training

This 2-hour Zoom workshop is designed for the workplace to provide an overview of episodic disabilities, information that promotes inclusion, best practices for becoming disability-confident employers and it’s also an opportunity to hear from someone with lived experience of working with an episodic disability.


May 02, 2023

Nourishing the World: Canadian Potash Supply Chain Resilience in Uncertain Times

Global events of the last year have shone a spotlight on the importance of Canadian potash to global food security.

Between a global pandemic, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and once-in-a-lifetime weather events occurring more frequently, the past few years have been particularly challenging for supply chains around the world. And the disruptions have shone a spotlight on how critical Canada is to global food security.

With a growing world population, demand for food is increasing.  To meet that need, farmers will need to use more fertilizers like potash. Potash is the common name given to the fertilizer potassium, a vital nutrient for life. Most of the world’s potash is used as fertilizer that helps plant growth, increases resistance to drought and disease, and improves overall crop quality and yield. By using potash, a farmer can produce more food of better quality on the same amount of land.

Constraints, like sanctions on Belarus and restrictions on Russian potash— together, these two countries account for approximately 40 per cent of the global supply of potash – highlighted how vital Canadian potash is to global food security.  Canadian potash is known for being a high-quality, stable and reliable supply – which positioned Canada well when global food security concerns increased.

For over 50 years, most Canadian potash has been exported overseas by Saskatoon-based, Canpotex.  On behalf of its two shareholders, Mosaic and Nutrien, Canpotex reliably markets and delivers about 13 million metric tonnes of potash overseas each year to millions of fields and farmers in 40 countries, principally in Asia, Latin America and Oceania.

Now, more than ever, customers overseas have counted on Canpotex to deliver the potash they need in time for food production. The ability to deliver during  times of uncertainty is possible because of the investments, expertise, and relationships established over the past 50 years.

This is no easy feat. At the best of times, shipping millions of tonnes of potash from Saskatchewan to customers halfway around the world means a journey that crosses Canada, through mountains, and across three oceans. Add in weather events or supply chain challenges that occur with more frequency.

For Canpotex, it’s possible because of billions invested to protect its own reliability by building a world-class supply chain. It’s also possible because of supply chain partners, including railroads, terminal operators, ports, and vessel owners.

As a geographically-disperse resource economy, Canada’s ability to contribute to global food security is highly dependent on the efficiency of its transportation and logistics systems.

That means there is more work to do, ensuring our supply chain and physical infrastructure are reliable and resilient. Strengthening transportation networks is imperative for the success of Canada’s economy. Without serious supply chain improvements and investment, as a country we risk falling short of our standard as a reliable trading partner.

Exporters, like Canpotex, have established and protected Canada’s reputation overseas for reliability, stability and integrity. Canadian agriculture and natural resource products – our food and our fertilizer – are recognized globally for quality, and our businesses are viewed as reliable and trustworthy and fair to deal with. With this comes immense responsibility to get our goods to market and make good on our commitments to our customers and our trading partners. Canada’s reliability is so vital because our supply chains just aren’t moving potash or other goods – it’s an integral part of making global food security possible.


May 02, 2023

Ensuring Equitable Access to Adult Vaccines across Canada

GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together. Our vaccines portfolio, the broadest in the industry, consists of more than 20 vaccines helping to protect people at all stages of life.

In April 2023, GSK engaged KPMG on an evidence-based report that provides an analysis of the gaps between Canada’s federal and provincial approaches to adult vaccination and potential approaches to address these gaps. This paper is based on information from publicly available sources and on insights from experts – public health leaders, researchers and policy makers – who generously contributed their time. This blog post is an excerpt from the executive summary of the report available here.

Vaccination has saved more lives than any other innovation in modern medicine,[1] but the benefits of disease-preventing vaccines are not equally accessible across Canada. Over the last two decades, the progress made in improving vaccine access and uptake in children has not been observed among adults.

Currently, there is no obligation for Canadian provinces, territories (P/Ts) nor the federal government, to allocate funding for adult vaccines that have been recommended by Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). Consequently, the availability of publicly funded immunizations across Canada is patchy and inconsistent for certain diseases, limiting access to those who are aware of the vaccine and can pay.

What stands between NACI recommendations and equitable access to vaccines across Canada is often the lack of public health funding to support vaccination programs. For most adult vaccines in Canada, the funding burden for vaccine purchasing and program implementation is the responsibility of each P/T. P/Ts are faced with complex decisions around allocation of their healthcare budgets and competing priorities that can impinge the decision to fund a vaccine.[2]This has created a patchwork approach to access across Canada.

Additionally, despite progress in the digitization of health and medical records, there are still significant gaps in the availability of consistent, accurate and real-time immunization data across Canada, especially for adults.[3] These gaps in data collection and harmonization make it difficult for public health teams to evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of vaccination programs.

Despite the efforts to improve equitable access to vaccines,[4] there is more work to do. As new innovative vaccines launch in Canada, there is an expected increase in the number of NACI-recommended vaccines for adults, and costs with implementing respective programs. These new vaccines, however, present opportunities to improve equity in access to reduce suffering and death while alleviating burden on our healthcare systems – governments have a primary responsibility to capitalize on these opportunities.

Without change, current inequities in vaccination access may persist and widen. Alongside increased funding, thoughtful consideration should be put into addressing additional barriers to access, including providing convenient immunization delivery locations, and improving education and awareness around vaccine preventable diseases.

The full position paper analyzes the gaps between NACI recommendations and provincial approaches to adult vaccination and potential opportunities to address these gaps. The purpose of this analysis is to help advance public policy discussion regarding equitable access to adult vaccines across the country so that the benefits of immunizations are spread equally across Canada. Access to vaccines should not depend on the postal code in which you live.

[1] Desai S, et al. (2015). Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization. pmc/articles/PMC4507835/

[2] Scheifele DW & al. (2014), Approved but non-funded vaccines: Accessing individual protection.

[3] Government of Canada (2019), Highlights from the 2017 childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (cNICS) : 2019 update.

[4] Government of Ontario (2020), Immunization 2020: Modernizing Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Program.

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