Major changes in acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) management prompted a comprehensive rewriting of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) participated in both the writing process and the external review. Subsequently, a Canadian Working Group (CWG), formed under the auspices of the CCS, developed a perspective and adaptation for Canada. Herein, accounting for specific realities of the Canadian cardiovascular health system, is a discussion of the implications for prehospital care and transport, optimal reperfusion therapy and an approach to decision making regarding reperfusion options and invasive therapy following fibrinolytic therapy. Major recent developments regarding indications for implantable cardioverter defibrillator(s) (ICDs) also prompted a review of indications for ICDs and the optimal timing of implantation given the potential for recovery of left ventricular function. At least a 40-day, preferably a 12-week, waiting period was judged to be optimal to evaluate left ventricular function post-STEMI. A recommended algorithm for the insertion of an ICD is provided. Implementation of the new STEMI guidelines has substantial implications for resources, organization and priorities of the Canadian health care system. While on the one hand, the necessary incremental funding to provide tertiary and quaternary care and to support revascularization and device implantation capability is desirable, it is equally or more important to develop enhanced prehospital care, including the capacity for early recognition, risk assessment, fibrinolytic therapy and/or triage to a tertiary care centre as part of an enlightened approach to improving cardiac care.