Canada signs $29 million bilateral agreement to help Islanders age with dignity

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 Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Cardigan , on behalf of the Honourable Mark Holland , Minister of Health, alongside the Honourable Mark McLane, Minister of Health and Wellness for PEI , announced a bilateral agreement to invest more than $29 million over the next five years to help people living in Prince Edward Island (PEI) age with dignity, closer to home, through improved access to home and community care and long-term care (LTC). This funding builds on the $94 million bilateral agreement that was announced with the province in December 2023, as part of the Government’s Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians plan. 

Through the Aging with Dignity agreement, federal funding will support Prince Edward Island’s five-year action plan to improve health care for seniors. The plan will: 
Increase access to home care services, including palliative care 

  • Build a Hospital-at-Home service that brings licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and paramedics together to provide acute care services at home. This service is expected to help meet the needs of up to 1,450 seniors through interventions like advanced wound care; and
  • Increase the number of palliative home care coordinators working within PEI’s home care program to improve access to palliative care services in the community, reduce hospitalizations, and enhance end-of-life care for clients and their families.

Close quality and safety gaps in the long-term care sector

  • Hire additional health providers, like occupational, physical, and recreational therapists to provide services in private long-term care homes to improve the wellness and quality-of-life of residents;
  • Expand the implementation of InterRAI, a digital platform used to assess individuals health needs, to 10 private long-term care facilities to inform care planning and quality improvement across the long-term care sector in PEI; 
  • Increase long-term care bed capacity and enable the provision of long-term care services to residents in more places, including rural communities, while facilitating comparable infection prevention and control; and 
  • Launch mobile X-ray units across the long-term care sector to provide timely access to care and reduce the demand on patients transfers between care settings.

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

Through this new agreement and the Working Together agreement signed in December 2023, Prince Edward Island will improve how health information is collected, shared, used and reported to Canadians; streamline foreign credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals; and 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 Prince Edward Island also commit to meaningfully engage and work together with Indigenous partners to support improved access to quality and culturally appropriate health care services. Prince Edward Island’s action plan is informed by continued engagement with its Indigenous partners and recent trilateral discussions involving the federal government. All levels of government will approach health decisions in their respective jurisdictions through a lens that promotes respect and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Prince Edward Island 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 populations.


"Today’s announcement is the result of a collaborative effort between the province and federal government to ensure equitable access to safe and high-quality health care for seniors in Prince Edward Island. Focused on transformative changes within the health care system and rooted within the principles of dignity for seniors, this agreement will address health care disparities, improve accessibility, and enhance their quality-of-life. Seniors have devoted their entire lives to building a better Canada – we owe it to them to ensure that they can truly age with dignity.”

- The Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“Health care is top of mind for Islanders, especially our seniors. This new agreement will make a real difference in our province by helping ensure Island seniors have access to high-quality care, when and where they need it.” 

- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Cardigan

“This collaborative agreement between provincial and federal governments highlights our commitment to enhancing health care services for seniors in Prince Edward Island. It is important to support our Island seniors age with dignity through home care, community care, long term care and more. This is an important step forward to enhance the services and supports they need most.” 

- The Honourable Mark McLane, Minister of Health and Wellness for PEI 

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 over four years to improve access to home and community care from Budget 2017; and $3 billion 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. Read Prince Edward Island’s 5-year Aging with Dignity Agreement and Action Plan.
  • 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.
  • Prince Edward Island’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 addictions 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 addictions are included in the Working Together bilateral agreements.

Associated Links


Morgan Martin 
Senior Communications Officer

Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary 
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

\Media Relations
Health Canada
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