IN THE SPOTLIGHT IONC member profile

Michelle Honda PhD. D.Sc.

From time to time we showcase our member’s achievements.

This month we introduce Michelle Honda PhD. D.Sc

Health History and Education

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Contest Winner

Picking the luck winner

Picking the lucky winner

Tag Line Contest winner

IONC General Manager Catherine Carleton Fitchett

IONC Directors Lisa Pigott and Angela Borgeest
with IONC Staff Christine Smith and Penny Headrick
at IONC office in Oakville choosing the lucky winner!
Congratulations to IONC member Lori Kay for her winning entry
“IONC Health by Association”
Lori receives $100.00 discount towards her membership renewal.

Top Trends for Natural Living in 2015

Top Trends for Natural Living in 2015

A new year means new and exciting approaches to natural health.  The key trends shaking up the market this year are:

1)      New and interesting oils offering health benefits

2)      Natural health products with a focus on digestion

3)      Fermentation goes mainstream

4)      Pumpkin – not just for autumn decor

5)      Product Certifications – Organic and GMO-free

Read on to get a head start on the health curve this year. [Read more…]

Why is Going Organic Worth it?

CHFA LOGOWhy is Going Organic Worth it?
Plus the Who, What, Where, and How of Organics in Canada


The organic industry in Canada is growing fast and the options for Canadians choosing to go organic are on the rise as well. Many Canadians are still unsure of the benefits of opting for certified organic products. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), along with the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) and the Canadian Organic Growers (COG), are teaming up to help Canadians celebrate the bounty of Organic Week this September 20 to 28.  Read on for the “who, what, where, why and how” Canadians can go organic this fall.


What does going organic mean in Canada?


It seems that organic is on everyone’s lips these days, but what does “organic” really mean?

Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed; organic food is produced using environmentally and animal-friendly farming methods. Organic certification lets consumers know that every step along the supply chain has protected and maintained the organic integrity that begins at the farm. [Read more…]

Vanessa’s Law moves closer to approval .

click here

Vanessa’s Law moves closer to approval thanks to Oakville MP Terence Young

MP vows to keep working on improving drug safety measures

Article first appeared in the Oakville Beaver

Oakville MP Terence Young announced Wednesday, the drug safety bill, Vanessa’s Law, which bears his late daughter’s name, has passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons after receiving unanimous support from all parties.

It is now on its way to the Senate for consideration.

The proposed Drug Safety Bill C-17 (Vanessa’s Law) will commit Health Canada to a set of concrete initiatives that would make easy-to-understand regulatory health and safety information more available to Canadians with regard to prescription drugs. [Read more…]

IONC/ONMPA Proposed Regulation of Practitioners update

Dave Levac IONC meetingIONC management recently met with Dave Levac,  Ontario Liberal  Candidate (Brant MPP & Speaker of the House for 14 years) to discuss strategies  to move our submission forward.

Dear Dave,
Thank you for taking the time this morning to continue discussions regarding proposed regulation of our naturotherapists/ nutritionists. [Read more…]

IONC AGM Summary

Dr Drake presentingThe 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.

Attendees 1Bruce Catherine Paul during break

Government of Canada Exempts Acupuncturists’ and Naturopathic Doctors’ Professional Services from GST/HST

March 28, 2014 – Markham, Ontario – Department of Finance

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, today highlighted the Harper Government’s support for families through new health-related tax relief.

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes a number of measures to reduce the tax burden on Canadians, including health-related tax relief such as an exemption from the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) on acupuncturists’ and naturopathic doctors’ professional services. Changes to the tax treatment of these services and other GST/HST health-related measures announced in Economic Action Plan 2014 became effective on February 12, 2014.

This tax relief builds on the Harper Government’s record of keeping taxes low for Canadians and their families.

Quick Facts

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes measures that will expand health-related tax relief by:

  • Exempting acupuncturists’ and naturopathic doctors’ professional services from the GST/HST.
  • Expanding the list of eligible expenses under the Medical Expense Tax Credit to include costs associated with service animals specially trained to assist individuals with severe diabetes, such as diabetes alert dogs.
  • Providing further tax recognition for costs associated with eligible specially designed medical therapies and training by:
    • Expanding the current GST/HST exemption for training that is specially designed to help individuals cope with a disorder or disability to also exempt services of designing such training, such as developing a training plan.
    • Including amounts paid for the design of an individualized therapy plan as an eligible expense for income tax purposes under the Medical Expense Tax Credit.
  • Adding eyewear specially designed to electronically enhance the vision of individuals with vision impairment that is supplied on the order of a physician or other specified health professional to the list of GST/HST-free (zero-rated) medical and assistive devices.


“Traditional Chinese Medicine has been practised for over 3,000 years. Today, millions of Canadians are using acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine services to improve their health, which eventually reduces the burden on the Canadian health care system. Our Government recognizes and respects this and, as a result, I am pleased to highlight today that, thanks to Economic Action Plan 2014, acupuncturists’ and naturopathic doctors’ professional services are now exempt from the GST/HST. This tax relief is only a part of a much larger effort of our Government to lower taxes for hardworking Canadians and their families since 2006. As a result of our Government’s strong record of tax relief, an average family of four will pay about $3,400 less in taxes in 2014.”

Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism

“I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes acupuncture as an important health service that should be recognized with a GST/HST exemption. This should lower costs for Canadians seeking these services.”

Chungsen Leung, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and MP for Willowdale (Ontario)

“We welcome the new measure to add acupuncture services to the list of important health services that are exempt from the GST/HST. This will help alleviate the burden for patients seeking acupuncture treatment. As the Task Chair of the Canadian Coalition of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Associations, I thank the federal government for recognizing this.”

John Lee, Task Chair, Canadian Coalition of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Associations