Nova Scotia

Victorian Order of Nurses spares its Nova Scotia branch in restructuring

The charitable community care and home organization has filed for creditors' protection and is downsizing its head office, which includes laying off 14 staff based in Nova Scotia according to the health minister.

Charitable organization has filed for creditor protection and is closing offices in 6 provinces

This notice was posted at the VON site in Fredericton today as the charity announced it was discontinuing service in six provinces, including New Brunswick. (CBC)

The Victorian Order of Nurses says it's downsizing and closing branches in six provinces but continuing operations in Nova Scotia. 

The home care and community support organization announced the changes Wednesday which include cutting almost a quarter of the jobs at its head office. About 352 people will be affected.

Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine said 14 administrative positions in Nova Scotia are being cut, but frontline staff numbers remain the same.

"The big message today from myself as minister of health and wellness and seniors is to assure Nova Scotians that they'll continue to deliver the service as they have been, and in fact, part of the streamlining is to work on improving service delivery," he told CBC News.

Glavine said the Victorian Order of Nurses, which is the largest provider of home care in the province, has not asked the government for any additional funds to keep running. 

The minister said he expects VON to continue to operate in the province as changes to the system are made. The province is seeking to bring all home-care providers under one contract.

"They will certainly be applying to keep the same level of work that they currently have, and in fact, part of their the restructuring is really to put an emphasis on improving their care delivery," Glavine said.

'Hard choices'

VON is ending its programs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and P.E.I. 

It has filed for creditor protection but says its Nova Scotia branch isn't affected. 

"We have had to make some hard choices about where we are able to make a difference in the lives of the greatest number of people," Jo-Anne Poirier, president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.

She said the changes will "free up capacity to respond to opportunities in Ontario and Nova Scotia, where we believe we have the best opportunities for sustainability and growth."

The charity says it provides health and wellness services to more than 10,000 people in the two remaining provinces. 

Its Nova Scotia branch provides nursing, home care and community support across the province on behalf of the provincial government. 

Established in 1897, the Victorian Order of Nurses has more than 6,000 employees across the country. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.