“Nurses are the heart of our health care community, and they play an absolutely vital role in keeping Canadians safe and healthy, often while putting their own health at risk.
“This year, National Nursing Week’s theme is #WeAnswerTheCall. Since the start of the pandemic, Canada’s nurses have shown tremendous courage as they’ve cared for patients and combatted COVID-19.
“The roots of military nursing in Canada go back more than 120 years, when Nursing Sisters first accompanied the Canadian troops sent to serve in the South African War. Some have given their lives in service to Canada, like Margaret Lowe of Binscarth, Manitoba, who died as a result of a German air raid near Étaples, France in May 1918. In the decades that have followed, Canadian Armed Forces Nursing Officers have continued to play a major role in our military efforts at home and abroad.
“I also want to acknowledge the important role and responsibilities that nurses have in taking care of our Veterans. Our nurses are critical in ensuring Veterans receive the benefits and services they need, and every day, we see firsthand the positive impact they have.
“This year, as ever, I want to thank all of the nurses from coast-to-coast-to-coast for their dedication and remarkable contributions to protecting the health of Canadians.”