Canada signs $627 million bilateral agreement with Alberta to help Albertans age with dignity

News release

May 23, 2024 | Edmonton, Alberta | Health Canada                            

Every senior in Canada deserves to age in dignity, safety, and comfort, regardless of where they live. That is why the Government of Canada is investing close to $200 billion over 10 years, which includes $5.4 billion for tailored bilateral agreements with provinces and territories on Aging with Dignity.

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, on behalf the Honourable Mark Holland, Canada’s Minister of Health and the Honourable Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health for Alberta announced a bilateral agreement to invest $627 million over the next five years to help Albertans age with dignity. This funding builds on the over $1 billion bilateral agreement that was announced with the province in December of 2023, as part of the Government’s Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians plan.

Federal funding will support Alberta’s five-year action plan to improve health care for seniors. The plan will:

Support home, community, and palliative care services  

  • Improve home care services for all Albertans, particularly those in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, and including those with complex care needs, to reduce pressures on hospitals and emergency rooms.
  • Increase palliative and end-of-life care spaces and services, including coordination of care, psychosocial supports, complex symptom assessment and management, and end-of-life planning.

Expand caregiver supports

  • Improve support for caregivers through increased access to respite services and expanded community day programs, and expand the reach of caregiver supports in rural Alberta.
  • Offer tailored resources and programs to those who care for individuals with dementia and complex needs to support caregiver wellness.

Strengthen the continuing care workforce

  • Increase training and mental health support for continuing care staff, including psychosocial supports, peer support programming, and trauma-informed care training.
  • Increase recruitment and retention in difficult-to-recruit continuing care sites, programs, and positions in rural and remote areas.

Enhance compliance and improved quality of continuing care

  • Support quality of life and care best practices, including a trauma-informed and culturally safe approach to care to better address the needs of those served by continuing care.
  • Retrofit equipment and technology in continuing care homes to support client and resident care needs and accessibility to meaningful activities.
  • Improve compliance and monitoring of continuing care homes to deliver high quality and safe continuing care services.

Progress on these initiatives and broader commitments will be measured against targets which Alberta will publicly report on annually.

Through this new agreement and the Working Together agreement signed in December 2023, Alberta will improve how health information is collected, shared, used and reported to Canadians; streamline foreign credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals; facilitate the mobility of key health professionals within Canada; and fulfill shared responsibilities to uphold the Canada Health Act to protect Canadians' access to health care that is based on need, not the ability to pay.

Recognizing the significant disparities in Indigenous health outcomes, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta also commit to meaningfully engage and work together with Indigenous partners to support improved access to quality and culturally appropriate health care services. Alberta’s action plan is informed by continued engagement with its Indigenous partners. All orders of government will approach health decisions in their respective jurisdictions through a lens that promotes respect and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Alberta and the federal government will continue working together to improve access to health services and deliver results for seniors across the province, including responding to the needs of Indigenous and other underserved and disadvantaged populations.


“Every Canadian deserves access to safe and high quality health care at every stage of their lives. By working together with Alberta, this agreement will build a stronger health care system, support health workers, and help seniors across the province access the care they need.”

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

“Budget 2024 is about fairness for every generation - that means giving seniors the services they need to age with dignity. By recognizing the disparities in health outcomes become between communities, we are able to give necessary care to those who need it most.”

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Every Canadian deserves to age with dignity regardless of where they live. Seniors in Alberta helped build this country and today’s agreement will go a long way in ensuring they now have equitable access to the services they deserve and need. This is a concrete example of the work we can accomplish together when provinces and the federal government work together.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario

“Alberta’s government is taking action to meet the growing needs of our aging population and help ensure the future of the province’s continuing care system. We have committed $1 billion over three years to transform continuing care in Alberta. This Aging with Dignity funding will help enhance Alberta’s efforts to transform the continuing care system to support Albertans as they age.”

The Honourable Adriana LaGrange
Alberta’s Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Under the Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians plan, the Government is working with provinces and territories to implement two series of bilateral agreements, one of which is focused on helping Canadians age with dignity, closer to home with access to home or community care or care in a safe long-term care facility.  

  • The Aging with Dignity agreement, which complements the Working Together agreement, includes $2.4 billion ($600 million per year for fiscal years 2023-24 to 2026-27)  over four years to improve access to home and community care from Budget 2017; and $3 billion ($600 million per year for fiscal years 2023-24 to 2027-28) over five years for long-term care from Budget 2021 to apply standards of care in long-term care facilities and help support workforce stability. Alberta has a 5-year Aging with Dignity Agreement and Action Plan posted online.

  • Budget 2023 outlined the Government of Canada's plan to invest close to $200 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new funding for provinces and territories, to improve health care for Canadians. Within this funding, $25 billion is allocated through new tailored bilateral agreements to address the unique needs of their populations and geography in four shared health priorities: 

    • expanding access to family health services, including in rural and remote areas;
    • supporting health workers and reducing backlogs;
    • increasing mental health and substance use support; and
    • modernizing health care systems with health data and digital tools. 
  • Alberta’s three-year Working Together Agreement and Action Plan, announced in December 2023, is associated with the above shared health priorities.
  • The Working Together plan is also a guaranteed 5% Canada Health Transfer (CHT) increase for the next five years—amounting to $17.5 billion—and a one-time CHT $2 billion top-up to address to urgent needs of emergency rooms and paediatric hospitals delivered in June 2023. Combined, these investments provide provinces and territories the flexibility to address the unique needs of their populations and geography, and accelerate health care system improvements. 

  • Budget 2017 committed $11 billion over 10 years in federal funding to provinces and territories to improve access to home and community care, and mental health and addiction services for Canadians. Bilateral agreements were signed with provinces and territories to access the first six years of that funding. The final four years of funding for mental health and addiction services are included in the Working Together bilateral agreements.

Associated links


Christopher Aoun

Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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