Canadians spend 5.7 billion unpaid hours each year on caregiving, with many of them struggling to balance the conflicting demands of care and paid work, according to The Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence (CCCE).

“This work takes huge skill, dedication, patience and physical strength. And yet we still look at this as low value work. It’s actually high value – morally, ethically, for the sake of our families, as well as highly economically valuable,” said Naomi Azrieli, chief executive of the Azrieli Foundation, which launched the CCCE in May, 2022, to support uncompensated caregivers and paid care providers such as personal and developmental support workers.

Last November, the organization released a comprehensive, 93-page report that highlights a serious dearth of help available to those giving care, including inadequate and fragmented peer and mental health support, financial benefits, employment protections and leaves of absence. The report introduces practical policy solutions and calls for a national strategy on the issue – this as Canada faces severe health care staffing shortages, intensified by the pandemic.