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Timeline of Midwifery in Canada


Nurse Midwifery Programs were offered
1943 to 1998 University of Alberta AOP diploma.
1962 to 1972 Laval University provided a 9-month diploma program.
1967 to 1979 Dalhousie University had midwifery as the second year of the Outpost Nursing diploma.
1979 to 1986 Memorial University of Newfoundland had a 10-month diploma program.
Midwifery programs for non-nurses were offered
1984 to 1990 Fraser Valley School provided a 3-year program.
1986 ongoing Nunavik Community Midwifery Education 3+ year program for Inuit women.



Midwifery Projects (some continued after evaluation), included
1981 to 1984 started at Vancouver General Hospital then moved to the Grace Hospital.
1985 to 1987 at the tertiary care hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
1991 to 1994 at Foothills Hospital, Calgary, with midwives who were registered nurses.
1992 to 1999 Practice of Midwives in the Pilot Projects in Quebec.
1992 NWT Dept. of Health (2000 changed to Nunavut) financed a community birthing pilot project in Rankin Inlet.
1998 to 1999 The BC Home Birth Demonstration Project.



Midwifery Associations were formed
1972 International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Congress in Washington attended by Canadian midwives.
1973 to 1974 regional Nurse Midwives Associations formed Western region (western provinces and the territories) until 1988, Atlantic until 1983, Ontario and Quebec.
1974 Canadian National Committee of Nurse-Midwives formed at the June CNA convention in Winnipeg but after a few years disbanded.



1982 Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) was formed which included the USA and Canada until 1999 when it became a USA organization. Individual midwives, regardless of training, could be members.
1984 Midwifery Association of Canada (MAC) formed at the MANA conference in Toronto, and Canadian midwives associations could be members.
1987 At the ICM Congress in Holland. MAC was changed to the Canadian Confederation of Midwives (CCM/CCSF). To begin with there was a Coordinator but no executive committee. There were two telephone conference meetings and one face-to-face spring meeting a year.



1991 At the CCM/CCSF AGM in Montreal the role of midwives according to the “International Definition of a Midwife” was accepted. The need to explore general educational guidelines for the profession of midwifery in Canada was discussed.
1992 and 1995 the need for a national liability insurance was discussed. Insurance coverage varied from province to province.
1995 the CCM/CCSF passed a resolution that when legislation was passed that only one association would be recognized. In the early days there were sometimes two midwives' associations in a province, one for nurses and one for other midwives.
1996 At the CCM/CCSF AGM in Halifax it was agreed to seek membership/inclusion in other groups. “Guidelines for those Representing CCM/CCSF on National Committees” was accepted. Also discussed were the problems in several provinces of accessing the Neonatal Resuscitation program.
1998 the constitution was to be revised as midwifery was becoming regulated across the country. The revision was completed and presented at the 2000 CCM/CCSF AGM. A web page and communication by e-mail were planned.
1999 The first CCM/CCSF executive was organized, and there was discussion about applying to become a member of the ICM.
2000 At the CCM/CCSF AGM a change of status from a Confederation to an Association was agreed, with the current executive. The CCM/CCSF aim to have midwifery regulated was happening.


1998 to 2001

Agreement on Internal Trade Labour Mobility Chapter 7. Midwives Associations and CCM/CCSF then CAM/ACSF were represented on a committee for reciprocity in education and employment that culminated with the signing of the Midwifery Mutual Recognition Agreement (Agreement on Internal Trade Chapter 7). During this time the Canadian Midwifery Regulators Consortium (CMRC) was formed.



CAM/ACSF evolved from CCM/CCSF and plans were made for a Fall conference, for the financial year to be January-December instead of April-March, and for a 3- year strategic plan.
2001 CAM/ACSF was incorporated. The objectives were to promote, protect and enhance the profession of midwifery. CAM’s first Position Statement on Home Birth. CAM/ACSF had a member elected to the SOGC’s Council.
2002 In June a Policy Manual was given to the Board and a consensus model was used at Business Meetings. CAM/ACSF applied for ICM membership.
2002 In the summer the first issue of the Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice (CJMRP) was published. This replaced the CAM/ACSF Newsletter that had been produced in Spring 2001 and February 2002.
2003 In October the CAM/ACSF Board had a two-day retreat in conjunction with the AGM.
2004 CAM Position Statement on Caesarean Section on Demand was produced.
2004 The Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (ACEWH) organized the Midwifery Way: A National Forum Reflecting on the State of Midwifery
Regulation in Canada, held in July in Halifax.
2006 It was agreed that the CAM/ACSF President was to be given an honorarium. An Executive Director was appointed and an Administrative Assistant was hired and was to be located in Ottawa. At the AGM the first Honorary Award to recognize and celebrate the lives and achievements of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Canadian midwifery profession was awarded.
2007 CAM/ACSF Board members were having monthly meetings. A policy on antidiscrimination was written. CAM Position Statement on Breastfeeding was produced. The CMRC/CCOSF was developing the Multi-jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Program.
2007 Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) and the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) issued a joint statement on liability protection for midwives and physicians.
2008 In January Health Canada held a two day meeting to study Reciprocity in Education and Practice: Is there a role for concurrent practice for nurses and midwives? with CAM, CNA, CNPS, CASN, and HIROC.
2008 In May CAM and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) developed a Joint Statement on Breastfeeding. In November at the CAM/ACSF AGM the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives was welcomed. At the June ICM Congress Bridget Lynch (ON) was elected as ICM President.
2009 CAM, CNA and AWHON had a joint workshop Promoting Client-Centred Collaborative Practice Between Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives
2009 CAM/ACSF signed onto a statement on Normal Birth developed by SOGC.
2010 CAM/ACSF decided to write their own Position Statement on Normal Birth.



The Regulation of Midwives progressed across the country In Ontario An Act respecting the regulation of the Profession Midwifery came into effect on January 1, 1994 with 62 registered midwives.
In British Columbia Midwives Regulation, Health Professions Act came into effect on January 1, 1998 with 29 registered midwives.
In Alberta Midwifery Regulation, Health Disciplines Act came into effect in July 1998 with 24 registered midwives.
In Quebec the Midwives Act came into effect on September 24, 1999 with 57 registered midwives practicing in birthing centres.
In Manitoba the Midwifery Act Midwifery Regulation came into effect on June 12, 2000 with 11 registered midwives.
In Northwest Territories the Midwifery Profession Act came into effect January 29 2005 with 3 registered midwives.
In Saskatchewan the Midwifery Act came into effect in March 2008 with 6 registered midwives.
In Nova Scotia the Midwifery Act came into effect on March 18, 2009 with 7 registered midwives.
In New Brunswick the Midwifery Act came into effect on August 12, 2010 with 0 registered midwives. The New Brunswick government removed funding from the Midwifery Council in 2013.
In Nunavut the Midwifery Act came into effect July 30, 2009.
In Newfoundland and Labrador the umbrella Health Professions Act 2010 enables the regulation of midwifery. In 2014 The Regulations pertaining to Midwives is enacted.
Prince Edward Island and Yukon have no midwifery legislation but are working toward that goal.

Midwifery Education commenced in some provinces and territories
1986 Nunavik Community Midwifery Education program.
1993 In Ontario the first undergraduate students entered the midwifery degree program. A collaborative program offered by a consortium of three universities: Laurentian, McMaster and Ryerson.
2000 In Quebec the first undergraduate students accepted at the Université de Quebec à Trois Rivières for the four-year undergraduate midwifery program.
2000 The first students accepted into the three-year Six Nations aboriginal midwifery program in Ohsweken, Ontario
2002 In British Columbia the four-year undergraduate midwifery program at the University of British Columbia commenced.
2004 In Manitoba, the 4-year Kanácí Otinawáwasowin Baccalaureate Program (KOBP) at the University College of the North, The Pas.
2005 Nunavut Arctic College admitted the first students into the four-year midwifery degree program.
2009 In Alberta the first undergraduate students entered the midwifery degree program at Mount Royal University