Two years ago, we proposed the creation of a royal commission to examine the lessons from the pandemic, especially as they related to our health care systems and the delivery of support, including mental health services, to the most vulnerable. Last year, we urged the Senate of Canada to launch an inquiry into the idea of a guaranteed annual income, along the lines of the report on poverty prepared by the late David Croll in the 1970s, which first proposed that basic economic floor for all Canadians.  In the Ottawa Citizen, Kathleen Finlay reiterates her proposal, and writes why it is more urgent than ever.

Read full column in the Ottawa Citizen.

Globe and Mail, August 15, 2023

T he Compassion Innovation Lab and its advocacy clinics have been there when Canadians needed new ideas. We’ve been working to put more compassion into the patient and family experience in our health care system, where new measures are needed to improve patient outcomes and reduce the prevalence and trauma of medical errors. We’ve also called for the creation of an office of chief compassion officer in every major hospital, and for trauma-informed care to replace the more adversarial deny-and-defend response that too many health care providers resort to when confronted by complaints regarding medical errors.

We’ve brought fresh thinking to the delivery of mental health services, where compassion is also a much undervalued preventative and healing tool.  In 2019, we introduced Canada to the idea of 988: a new three-digit suicide prevention technology. Lisa LaFlamme, then chief anchor of CTV National News, described 988 as “three numbers that could make all the difference in saving lives” during its coverage of our campaign. After relentless advocacy, 988 was finally adopted by the federal government and will become effective in the fall of 2023. 

Since 2018, we have been campaigning for an end to the demonstrated sequelae of potential medical and emotional harm caused by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).  Many states in the US, and some provinces, have attempted to limit their adverse impacts.  At the federal level, Canada has not.

At the outset of the pandemic, we saw the urgent need for more and better mental health supports and called on the federal government and the provinces to step up to that task.  Now, as the worst of this worldwide nightmare begins to recede, it’s time to look at what we’ ve learned and how we can avoid the mistakes of the past — especially the mistakes that hit the most vulnerable the hardest. It’s time to make compassion the new normal.


Media inquiries can be directed here. We do our best to provide a timely response to interview requests.


Kathleen Finlay’s Advocacy Clinics

Compassion Innovation | Reimagining the power of compassion to change lives.

Copyright © 2023 The Compassion Innovation Lab & The Institute for Compassion Innovation| All rights reserved.