Joint Statement on New Brunswick Auditor General findings on for-profit agencies

The New Brunswick Auditor-General’s report findings on the use of for-profit agencies reveal a critical lack of oversight in the province’s health care spending, underscoring the need for thorough investigations in every province and territory.

“We cannot accept over $173 million of taxpayers’ money in New Brunswick being funneled into for-profit corporations with no oversight. This report is damning and should light a fire under all our provincial and territorial governments to rein in their use of for-profit agencies,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU).

Auditor General Paul Martin’s report details questionable billing practices, auto-renewal clauses, and no legal review or competitive vendor selection process.

Alarmingly, in several jurisdictions, decisions to work with for-profit agencies to fill staffing needs were not supported by data, only informal reports. In many cases, the needs of the facility were not well documented, and some contracts allowed agencies to deploy health care teams regardless of need.

“Decisions about health human resources should never be profit-driven. These decisions must be rooted in strong data to support the needs of patients,” said Paula Doucet, president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU). “It is shocking that our regional health authorities neglected to ensure they were receiving value for that level of money, and this allowed companies like Canada Health Labs to take taxpayers to the cleaners without any accountability.”

Doucet emphasized the need for sustainable health human resources planning, including a robust evidence-based nurse retention and recruitment plan.

“Accountability and transparency were grossly lacking over the last two years with these egregious contracts. New Brunswickers deserve better. We need to take back our public health care system and get profits out of care,” said Doucet.

The CFNU has been calling on provinces and territories to bolster the nursing workforce by investing in strong retention initiatives, enabling a robust recovery of the country’s health care systems.

“We can’t continue to allow resources to be pulled from our public health care system unchecked. Solutions exist within our public health care system, and nurses are ready to work with governments to implement them,” said Silas. “Ensuring permanent health care jobs in our communities are good, attractive jobs. This is key to both retaining nurses and putting an end to this overreliance on private staffing agencies.”


The New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) is a labour organization of approximately 8,900 nurses who are employed in various healthcare facilities throughout the province of New Brunswick.


Alix Saulnier
Communications Officer
[email protected]
Phone: (506) 453-1308