The IONC hosted its annual AGM on Feb 7th 2014 at the Admiral Inn in Mississauga, Ontario. Members of the Board of Directors attended, along with several ROHPs/RNCPs. Thanks to all for coming!
The meeting was broken up into 3 sections: firstly, Executive Director Christine Smith welcomed everyone to the AGM and took care of administrative details. This included reviewing the minutes of last year’s meeting and presenting this year’s agenda. Treasurer and Board Member Angela Borgeest finished off the administrative portion by presenting the financials from last year.
The second area covered in the meeting involved a speech by IONC President and Board Member Irene Yaychuk-Arabei. In her annual report to the membership, Irene focused on the process of regulation of massage therapists and naturopaths in Ontario. If we understand their journey we can take courage and inspiration for our own path.
There have been many changes in regulation over the past 30 – 40 years, and various professions have had to evolve just as we are. Irene outlined the route that massage therapists took, including the role of the schools, the government, and the practitioners. Irene then discussed naturopathy’s even more bumpy road to regulation, including resistance, threats, and actual deregulation in some jurisdictions. Serious lobbying and letter writing occurred during the 1990s, and eventually in 2000 the Canadian College of Natural Medicine received accreditation. This process involved considerable tenacity, public support, and scientific based evidence.
The discussion of the journey to regulation for naturopaths led to a reflection on the IONC’s current submission in Ontario, and Irene reviewed the importance of clear vision and leadership, with ROHPS and RNCPs using one strong voice. She reviewed the partnership with BDNMP and listed many benefits of IONC membership including newly introduced initiatives such as discounts at Good Life Fitness Clubs, Virtual Health dispensing, and access to blood testing clinics. We are in a very strong position as we finish our 30th year and there is much to anticipate moving forward.
After a short break, the third and final portion of the AGM began: our three guest speakers. Dr Deborah Drake gave the keynote address, highlighting the importance of our profession. She offered guidance in the area of nutritional wellbeing, covering areas such as immunology, complimentary medicine, and how to define our scope of practise. Dr Drake reviewed the key goal of ROHPs/RNCPs: getting people “back to balance.” She discussed nutritional strategies, evidence based medicine, the role of supplements, and the effects of poor nutrition. Dr Drake further reviewed the benefits of detoxification, vegetarianism, minerals and the use of physical assessments of a client. Several specific foods were reviewed and discussed in terms of nutritional practises.
Dr Buce Ally spoke next . He explained his own journey to holistic healing and how he has been able to combine his personal background with his law degree to assist with legal efforts in this field. Dr Ally was involved with the successful regulation efforts of the homeopaths and the acupuncturists in Ontario, and he offered the group an update on our own regulatory government submission In Ontario. He explained the affiliation of the IONC and the BDMDP and talked about how the Ministry of Health runs these processes, which professions are already regulated, and how this differs across Canada. He then answered member questions (from the audience as well as questions which had been submitted in advance). Dr Ally reviewed why it is important to be a regulated profession and how this will benefit our profession. He finished his presentation with a discussion of insurance coverage and ongoing petitions to Ontario MPPS involving the regulatory file.
The third and final guest speaker was IONC Board Member, ROHP, homeopath, and TV personality Sunita Mohan. Sunita gave an animated lecture about ayruvedic healing. She discussed how food and spices can enhance health. In addition to reviewing the three constitutions of the body and the three gunas, Sunita circulated different spices and food tips to the group. She discussed the six tastes of Ayurveda and the healing properties therein. The role of energy provided a great discussion to end this topic.
The AGM meeting was adjourned late in the afternoon of the 7th.