It was a year ago today that MPs in our federal Parliament passed a motion to raise greater awareness for anaphylaxis, a potentially, deadly medical condition for those with severe allergies. Below are my reflections of my family’s experience being on Parliament Hill to see this important vote.
I wish to wrap up the events of last week with a few personal observations.
- It was very gratifying last Wednesday night to see the anaphylaxis awareness motion receive MPs’ unanimous consent in the House of Commons. Our group of families, who have been volunteering our efforts over the past five years, connected with many MPs over three different Parliaments. It was wonderful for us to see our work with MPs, to raise awareness and understanding of severe allergies, result in an overwhelming endorsement.
- To our group of families that comprised the core of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative, thank you so much! What began as a bunch of questions posed in Cindy’s basement, has involved hundreds of hours of phone conversations and e-mails, meetings, envelope stuffing – and trips to Beamsville and a few to Ottawa – all special memories that have forged very special friendships. CAI was truly a group effort – and I know I can say that we were inspired and motivated by our respective love for our families. (Photo of some CAI family members on the steps of Parliament Hill)
- Another huge thank you goes out to MP Dean Allison (pictured below with David George), who moved M-230 and managed its progress to the vote last week. Dean introduced the motion in two successive Parliaments, picking up from MP Rick Dykstra’s original motion back in the mid 2000’s. We appreciate the time and effort Dean and Rick have given this important subject over the years. We hope your work with fellow MPs will spur government action on further allergy policy developments.
- CAI’s voice on some important policy issues has been heard and, it demonstrates that a coordinated effort by a group of citizens can produce results. In our case, we got a motion through the House of Commons, signalling to all Parliamentarians the heightened importance Canadians place on finding better ways to deal with anaphylaxis. CAI was also part of the government’s labeling announcement; we were consulted concerning funding for research; and we have become a source of information for circles of MPs who are attempting to advance anaphylaxis concerns in Ottawa.
- Finally, on a personal note, it was great that my sons could be witness to the M-230 vote. I was pleased David got to see the MPs resolve concerning severe allergies. He has followed the debate in the House and has followed the actions of Dean and Rick through these past few years. Our Family hopes that this motion is but a first step in a fulsome government response to creating the proper public understanding and a safer environment for Canadians with anaphylaxis.
(ed. – This article is a report from the original Journal entry in May 2013.)