In the spring of 2019, Canada's House of Commons Standing Committee on Health reviewed the issue of workplace violence in healthcare and issued a report with nine recommendations. By summer that year, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions had two active campaigns on workplace violence characterized by a strong social media presence. In 2020, a private member's bill was sponsored to amend Canada's Criminal Code in cases of assault against a healthcare worker. In the face of these developments, we were interested in the framing of the problem of workplace violence by professional and labour organizations in Canada. We examined documents, websites and social media posts from selected nursing unions and professional associations, including both national and provincial organizations. We found that nursing unions and professional associations have distinctive views on workplace violence. We argue that these divergent understandings preclude the creation of consistent and successful political and organizational strategies that would help create safe workplaces for nurses.
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