News release

One-year extension in Ontario and expansion into Atlantic Canada to facilitate the adoption of Canadian healthcare solutions

May 12, 2021 · Moncton, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

As the fight against COVID-19 continues it is more important than ever to support Canada’s innovative and cutting edge health care companies. The federal government is committed to supporting Canadian businesses start up, scale up and access new markets to sell their made in Canada solutions around the world.

The CAN Health Network is an integrated market that reduces barriers to procurement so health-tech companies can quickly and easily bring their innovations to the healthcare sector. It serves as a platform for companies to provide solutions to meet the needs of Canadians and our healthcare organizations.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced a one-year extension of the CAN Health Network project in Ontario, with an investment of $3.25 million in Trillium Health Partners through FedDev Ontario. This builds on the government’s previous $3.5 million investment in 2019, which launched the network in Ontario and supports 15 companies to bring solutions to market.  With this extension, bringing total support of $6.75 million, an additional 10 companies will benefit from the Network’s approach to facilitating purchases of made-in-Canada healthcare solutions by domestic healthcare centres.

Minister Ng also announced a more than $2.2 million investment for the Horizon Health Network through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to support the expansion of the CAN Health Network to Atlantic Canada. Working with the Atlantic innovation ecosystem, CAN Health will identify promising Atlantic companies to partner on commercialization projects through an open and transparent procurement process, with the objective of bringing new innovative solutions to the health system that are developed in Atlantic Canada to scale across Canada and abroad. 


“Today’s announcement is a great example of the innovative collaboration our economy needs in order to rebuild and recover from COVID-19. Our government is dedicated to helping businesses succeed and with investments in the CAN Health Network, which will continue to grow and help local innovative health sciences companies work directly with health care organizations, sell their technologies and grow their businesses here in Canada, and around the world.” 

–       The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

“Today’s investment will boost an existing network that is instrumental in helping nurture some of Canada’s most promising health sciences ventures. It is initiatives like these that position us to tackle our most pressing healthcare issues and develop made-in-Canada solutions while helping us stay at the forefront of healthcare innovation.”

–       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“During these unprecedented times, the Government of Canada’s top priority is healthcare. That is why I am pleased to support the launch of a Coordinated Accessible National (CAN) Health Network in Atlantic Canada, where organizations will strive to become early adopters of transformative technologies and leverage significant procurement opportunities within the healthcare system, both in New Brunswick and across Atlantic Canada.” 

–       The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, New Brunswick 

“Horizon Health is leading CAN Health Network’s expansion to Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritimes. We’re building a comprehensive health network for our region, and this investment brings new innovations, jobs, and growth to our health and biosciences sectors.”

–        The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador

“This launch of the CAN Health Network is paving the way for Atlantic Canadian businesses to scale beyond the needs of one health authority or one region, providing maximum impact for our local industry. Today’s investment from the federal government will build on Prince Edward Island’s current expertise and infrastructure in the bioscience industry and encourage a transformation of the procurement culture.”

–       The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Cardigan, Prince Edward Island

“As we continue to battle the pandemic, the launch of the CAN Health Network in Atlantic Canada couldn’t come at a better time. By connecting health organizations in Nova Scotia with our small businesses, this integrated market will help to advance made-in-Atlantic Canada solutions to the biggest challenges we face right now.”

–       The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore –St. Margarets, Nova Scotia

“In the last year, the CAN Health Network has supported 15 healthcare organizations across Canada adopt new technologies developed here at home to support quality patient care. With the expansion into Atlantic Canada, the Network will continue to work with some of the best and most innovative health care organizations to support Canadian companies with the commercialization and scaling of their products here at home and abroad. As a result of continued Government of Canada investment we are working with partners across the health innovation ecosystem to bring new technology to our frontline and growing the Canadian economy by supporting local businesses.”

–       Dr. Dante Morra, Chair of CAN Health Network and Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners 

“Horizon is thrilled to be serving as the regional lead among our member Edges as this exciting initiative extends its reach into Atlantic Canada. Our participation in the CAN Health Network reflects our organization’s commitment to embracing innovation in health care technology as a means of improving patient outcomes and care.”

–       Jennifer Sheils, Chief Information Officer, Horizon Health Network  

Quick facts

The CAN Health Network currently operates in Ontario, Western and now in Atlantic Canada, with plans to expand to Quebec and the North, to build a national platform that harnesses the purchasing power of healthcare organizations. 

The Network’s partners in Ontario include: Bruyère; Grand River Hospital; Hamilton Health Sciences; Prism Eye Institute; St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton; SE Health; The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids); Trillium Health Partners; Sinai Health; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; University Health Network and Unity Health Toronto. 

The Network’s partners in Atlantic Canada include: Eastern Health Authority; Health PEI; Horizon Health Network; IWK Health Centre; Medavie; Nova Scotia Health; Shannex and Vitalité Health Network.

Through the Government of Canada’s initial investment in CAN Health Network through FedDev Ontario, Trillium Health Partners supported 15 companies to commercialize eight projects through partnerships with 10 health organizations. From this initial investment, an additional six technologies are expected to be commercialized this year.  

The Government of Canada has been on the ground helping businesses weather the impacts of the pandemic, through regional development agencies. With the measures outlined in Budget 2021, FedDev Ontario and ACOA will continue to be trusted partners delivering targeted support in their respective regions. 

Associated links

Trillium Health Partners

Horizon Health Network

CAN Health Network

FedDev Ontario

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic

Development and Official Languages

Youmy Han

Press Secretary


Media Relations

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

Media Relations

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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