Atlantic Growth Strategy Delivers on Digital Health to Improve Patient Care

News release

Actions of the strategy are gaining momentum, delivering results and creating more opportunities

July 10, 2018 – Summerside, Prince Edward Island – Government of Canada and Atlantic Provinces

The long-term economic success of Atlantic Canada requires bold actions as well as dedicated and collaborative teamwork. To that end, federal ministers and Atlantic premiers met today in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, to discuss the progress of the Atlantic Growth Strategy and to review future areas of targeted collaboration.


Innovation is an important priority for the Atlantic Growth Strategy. New approaches and tools, such as digital health, can improve health care, enhance patient outcomes and foster local economic opportunities. Canada Health Infoway, an independent and not-for-profit organization that promotes digital health solutions across Canada, will invest up to $70 million in federal funds in ACCESS Atlantic, an initiative that will create a new digital health ecosystem across the Atlantic provinces and implement an electronic prescription service. This initiative will support a model of patient-centered care by modernizing the infrastructure used to manage information and empowering patients by enabling them to access to their own health information. ACCESS Atlantic will help transform health care delivery for Atlantic Canadians and support economic growth at the local level.


As a result of increasing participation from companies in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, more space is needed to ensure that they have the labour and skills required to grow the Atlantic Canadian economy. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, today announced that he has approved an additional 500 skilled workers and their families to apply under the Pilot for 2018.   


The launch of several initiatives and the unprecedented level of federal-provincial co-operation through the Atlantic Growth Strategy are achieving results that have provided businesses with the essential hands-on support they need most, such as attracting and retaining highly-skilled talent to the region, positioning Atlantic Canada as a destination of choice for dynamic visitor experiences, stimulating strong economic growth and creating well-paying middle-class jobs for workers and their families.

Atlantic Canadian businesses and organizations in the fields of education, clean energy, food and tourism will join ministers and premiers on a multi-sector trade mission to China in mid-November to promote the region’s assets, showcase Atlantic Canadian products, connect the Atlantic food service industry with new export opportunities, and leverage the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism to make Atlantic Canada a ‘top of mind’ destination. The Atlantic delegation will make stops in Qingdao, Shanghai and Beijing.

Businesses must attract and retain highly-skilled employees in order to scale-up, seize global opportunities, and grow the region’s economy. To support employers, ministers and premiers also shared that the pan-Atlantic Study and Stay Program is ready to capitalize on the new academic year, targeting 200 students. In addition to existing measures aimed at filling key labour market shortages throughout the region, the talent retention program works with international students at higher-education institutions who would like to stay in Atlantic Canada upon graduation and contribute to the economic growth of the communities where they live.

Understanding that continued collaboration is required for long-term success, both orders of government reaffirmed their strong commitment to work together to stimulate the region’s economy, support the middle class and build upon the initiatives already producing solid results for Atlantic Canadians. Consultations and expert opinions, such as those provided by the Atlantic Growth Advisory Group, will keep informing actions going forward.



“Through targeted investments and strategic initiatives, we are creating new opportunities in Atlantic Canada, like the Ocean Supercluster. I look forward to seeing more positive outcomes resulting from the Atlantic Growth Strategy. Our continued support will help create sustainable, long-term economic growth with more secure, well-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“We are proud of the success we have achieved through the collaborative work of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. We have clearly demonstrated that we are more innovative and effective in growing the economy when we pool our collective strengths and resources to focus on what matters most to Atlantic Canadians, which is to create more and better jobs here at home.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Now that a strong foundation for economic growth is in place, we need to continue to support the actions of the Atlantic Growth Strategy to encourage its long term success. We must build on the strategic initiatives and investments already producing real results for Atlantic Canadians in five priority areas to ensure that the region can reach its full potential and thrive.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“ACCESS Atlantic is a direct result of collaboration between the federal government and Atlantic provinces. This initiative will be good for everyone — patients, health care providers, governments and innovators. I am proud to see the results of our efforts and excited about the future of health care for Atlantic Canadians.”
– The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“These are exciting times as more international students are attending our post-secondary institutions, more Atlantic Canadian students are getting valuable work experience and more Red Seal trades are being harmonized. Since we’ve implemented the Atlantic Growth Strategy, businesses have access to various initiatives and a larger pool of candidates to help address skills shortages and effectively fill positions in the region.”
The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board

“I look forward to the opportunities that the upcoming trade mission to China will open up for Atlantic Canadians, particularly Atlantic seafood, agrifood, innovators and small business owners. From quality food, to impressive universities and research facilities, to unforgettable tourism experiences, this region has so much to offer. Tapping into the vast Chinese market, Canada’s second largest trading partner, is critical to the future prosperity of Atlantic Canadian workers and their families.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

“This unprecedented initiative has brought great results for this region. I am pleased that the initiatives of the Atlantic Growth Strategy are ongoing so we can build on this success and further enable local industries to develop new skills and innovate to compete in a global market.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“I am pleased to see the outstanding progress the Government of Canada and the Atlantic provinces have already made in attracting and retaining skilled immigrants in the first year of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot to address workforce challenges in the region. This initiative, combined with the pan-Atlantic expansion of the Study and Stay program, will go a long way to help bring even more skilled talent to the region to support the labour force and drive long-term economic growth.”
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

“Prince Edward Island has certainly seen the benefits of working together regionally and nationally while maintaining our provincial priorities. Our economy is on a tear, our population is growing at the fastest rate in Canada, and we are excited by the continued opportunities to engage with important markets domestically and internationally. Prince Edward Island will continue to collaborate with our provincial and federal partners to nurture the Atlantic Region's growth potential.”
The Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island

“By working together, we can keep growing Atlantic Canada’s economy. Advancing the Atlantic Growth Strategy will create jobs by increasing our exports, strengthening our workforce through investments in education and skills training, and growing important sectors such as tourism.”
The Honourable Brian Gallant, Premier of New Brunswick

“Building the economy and increasing our population are essential for Nova Scotia and all of Atlantic Canada. The Atlantic Growth Strategy is bolstering our work in achieving those goals and we look forward to seeing more positive results for the region.”
The Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia

“Today we put $70 million in place for E-Health solutions that will support high quality and efficient healthcare delivery in Atlantic Canada. This shows how greater Federal-Provincial partnership can put greater resources into areas where they are needed.  The Atlantic Growth Strategy has supported vital Federal-Provincial collaboration and progress on priorities that include immigration, broadband, infrastructure, and trade promotion, and I look forward to advancing many more initiatives that build economic strength and promote greater prosperity.”
The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Quick facts

  • The Atlantic Growth Strategy is a set of pan-Atlantic, federal-provincial initiatives that are paving the way for a stronger economy in Atlantic Canada through a collaborative and consolidated approach based on results in five priority areas: skilled workforce/immigration; innovation; clean growth and climate change; trade and investment; and infrastructure.

  • Over the past two years, the Strategy has launched several initiatives including the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy, the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism, and the expansion of the Accelerated Growth Service.

  • The Government of Canada recognizes the potential of digital health initiatives, and announced $300 million over five years in 2017 for Canada Health Infoway.

  • According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, between July 2017 and April 2018, the Atlantic economy created more than 16,000 jobs and employment grew 1.5 per cent, surpassing the national average of 0.9 per cent.

  • Employers have made over 2,000 job offers to fill vacancies under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, compared to over 250 job offers last year. Over 900 permanent residence applications have been received to date.

  • Overall, Atlantic Canada has experienced record levels of immigration, with over 9,000 newcomers and their families coming to the region in 2017.

  • Sixty-eight high growth firms joined the Accelerated Growth Service.

  • Thirty Atlantic Canadian companies are taking advantage of the newly created Clean Growth Hub to advance their clean technologies and more than $185 million is being invested in the region through the Low Carbon Economy Fund as part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

  • The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund invested $152.5 million in 27 projects in Atlantic Canada to enhance and modernize research, commercialization and training facilities.

  • Upwards of 130 communities will soon benefit from more than $66 million in investments through the Connect to Innovate Program, enabling residents to connect with family and friends, do business online and take advantage of other opportunities presented in this digital era.

  • In 2017, the value of exports from Atlantic Canada reached $30 billion, an increase of 16 per cent over 2016.

  • ACCESS Atlantic is a collaboration between New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Infoway.

  • Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports the implementation and use of digital health solutions across Canada. Those solutions include everything from electronic medical records, e-prescribing, telehomecare, to patient portals.

  • ACCESS Atlantic will create a digital health ecosystem to allow patients easier access to their health information. ACCESS Atlantic will implement a system that will allow electronic prescriptions to be sent directly from a doctor’s office to the patient’s pharmacy. This e-prescribing service, known as PrescribeITTM, reduces errors when filling prescriptions and promotes safety by reducing fraud and preventing abuse.  

Related products

Associated links


Mallory Clyne
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development

Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Thierry Bélair
Office of the Minister
Health Canada

David Jackson
Office of the Premier of Nova Scotia

Alex Wellstead
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan

Mary Moszynski
Office of the Premier of Prince Edward Island

Guy Gallant
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Julie Robichaud
Office of the Premier of New Brunswick

Laura Gareau
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc

Jean-Luc Ferland
Office of the Honourable Scott Brison

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