As part of its objectives to promote the science, practice and education of psychology, the CPA is involved in a number of advocacy and government relations activities on behalf of psychology as a discipline and its members.

The CPA is a registered lobbyist organization, submitting monthly reports on its lobbying activities to the Government.

Some of the CPA’s advocacy activities include:

  • Meeting with members of parliaments
  • Presenting to senate and committees
  • Liaising with representatives of Canada’s funding agencies
  • Partnering with various mental health and research-focussed alliances
  • Creating briefs, responses and position statements
  • Participating in and responding to budgetary consultations and announcements
  • Participating in consultations and expert tables
  • Offering our input on committee work and bills under review
  • Compiling resources of interest for researchers
  • Launching strategic communications and media campaigns
  • Attending relevant conferences and events where we bring forth the perspective of psychological science and practice

Advocacy Announcements

Standing Committee Releases 2021 Pre-Budget Recommendations

As part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultation process of which CPA contributed to, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance released its report. Importantly, two of its top five recommendations focused on investing in a long-term mental health COVID-19 recovery plan for all Canadians, and targeted investments that will improve access to primary care, mental health supports and virtual care. It also included a recommendation to provide a one-time 25% increase in funding to the Tri-Councils for research restart and recovery. Hopefully all three will be reflected in the 2021 federal budget.

Report link

Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Legault (February 2021)

Given that Prime Minister Trudeau recently signaled the federal government’s willingness to discuss increasing its share of health funding to the provinces and territories, the CPA and the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental health (CAMIMH) wrote to the Prime Minister and Premier urging them to increase their investments in mental health services and treatments.
CPA Letter to Prime Minister and Premiers
CAMIMIH Letter to Prime Minister and Premiers

PAA-CPA Letter to Alberta Minister of Education

CPA and the Psychologists Association of Alberta co-signed a letter that was sent to the Provincial Minister of Education outlining our mutual concerns about the Calgary Board of Education’s decision to lay-off psychologists (see letter).

Working with the Federal Government

CPA sent a letter to the House of Commons Standing Committee to offer our expertise in assisting in identifying sustainable solutions that keep Canadians mentally as well as physically healthy (see letter).

CPA, along with other national health organizations, met with the Federal Minister of Health on May 21st to discuss the role of the federal government in the context of COVID-19.  The Minister did indicate that the government is discussing what additional investments could be made in the mental health space.

Federal Emergency Response Programs

The federal government has announced a series of programs to address disruptions in employment income and business revenue.  Most recently the CPA was pleased to see changes in the Canada Emergency Business Account [CEBA], which expands the payroll threshold from $50,000 to $20,000 to be eligible for a maximum loan of $40,000.  The CPA remains concerned that members in private practice are still not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit [CERB], the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy [CEWS], and Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) programs and has communicated with the Minister of Finance and Health (see letter). In coordinating its efforts, the CPA has worked closely with the Extended Health Care Professionals Coalition.

COVID-19 and Private Insurers

Given the impact of COVID-19, the CPA and the provincial-territorial psychological associations have written the large insurers in Canada (i.e., Aviva, Canada Life, Greenshields, Manulife, Medavie/Blue Cross, and Sun Life) to remove barriers to psychological care across sponsored plans and evolve in their coverage (see letter).

Federal Government’s Priorities

  1. Ministerial Mandate Letters – reviews the 2019 Mandate Letters that were issued by the Prime Minster to ministers of the crown that are relevant to the priorities of the CPA.
    Ministers Mandate Letters February 27 2020.pdf
  2. Overview of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Bi-Lateral Funding Agreements for Mental Health and Addiction Services – provides a detailed look at the series of Federal-Provincial-Territorial bi-lateral agreements (i.e., the $11 billion over 10 years for home and community care, and mental health and addiction services) that were signed in 2017.  It also identifies the key priorities to be addressed by each province and territory.
    FMHA Overview 2017-18 to 2021-22 March 30 2020.pdf

CPA, OPA and CAPDA Letter to College of Psychologists of Ontario re: Registration of Psychology Practitioners at the Master’s Level

March 28, 2019 – The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) and the Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment (CAPDA) write a letter to express their profound concerns over the September 2018 motion approved by the Council of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) to continue registration of psychology practitioners at the master’s level and, further, to grant them the title ‘Psychologist.’ This 2018 motion overturns a 2013 decision of the Council to stop registering master’s practitioners of psychology.

Click here. for the full letter.

Psychology and Public Policy: A Government Relations Guide for Psychologists

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is pleased to announce the release of a new edition of Psychology and Public Policy: A Government Relations Guide for Psychologists. This updated guide is designed to encourage psychologists toward greater political participation and provides the basic tools and guidance needed for bringing issues forward to government. This new version includes expanded appendices with the tools you will need to craft letters and meet with elected representatives.

Psychology and Public Policy: A Government Relations Guide for Psychologists (2013) – 28 pages; $4.50.

To access the order form, click here.