E-petition on Airline Allergy Policy

This being allergy awareness month, By George features an electronic motion now in Canada’s Parliament on the serious condition of anaphylaxis and safer airline allergy policies.

 

e-106 (Anaphylaxis) is sponsored by Dr. Hedy Fry, M.P. for Vancouver Centre and it is on-line on the Parliamentary website:

 

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-106

 

anac31

 

This Petition to the Government of Canada reads:

 

Whereas:

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Members of Parliament voted unanimously in support of Anaphylaxis Motion M-230 proposed by M.P. Dean Allison “That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.”;

 

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical condition now affecting 2.5 million Canadians for which there is no treatment or cure;

 

Those with anaphylaxis are especially vulnerable while traveling on airlines at 35,000 feet in the air – far from emergency medical care; and

 

Improved Transportation Safeguards – relating to airline and public transportation policies that reduce risks for food allergic passengers is a primary goal of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative’s 5-Point Action Policy as it relates to Anaphylaxis Motion M-230.

 

We, the undersigned, members of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative and citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the above and , call upon the Government of Canada to enact a “Policy to Reduce the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers” applicable to all forms of passenger transportation falling within its jurisdiction.

 

For clarification, the stated policy is a two-step approach to air safety for those with anaphylaxis or severe allergies. It puts a procedure in place that, when a passenger identifies him/herself as having a severe peanut or nut allergy, an airline would be required to:

  • suspend the selling of peanuts/nuts/sesame snaps
  • make an announcement about refraining from eating these products
  • allow persons to carry epi-pens
  • allow pre-boarding so that persons can wipe down seats
  • require flight crew to be trained to administer an epi-pen in emergency situation
  • add “allergy notification” to passenger information list

 

Please take 2 minutes and click onto the on-line form and sign this e-petition.

e-106 (Anaphylaxis)

 

The e-petition is open for 120 days and closes for signature : July 20, 2016, at 8:44 a.m. (EDT). All persons 14 years of age and older can sign.

 

For more By George Journal articles on anaphylaxis, click into our archives.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Anaphylaxis Motion M-230 (one year later)

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.  

 

anaDSCN1880revI 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.

IMG_1321

 

(ed. – This article is a report from the original Journal entry in May 2013.)

Re: Anaphylaxis and the unanimous Motion 230 vote

anaDSCN1880revI 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.   

IMG_1321

 

Members of Parliament pass Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion

CAIMPs’ votes in the House of Commons last night included the passing of Motion 230, a motion to raise awareness of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening medical condition brought on by severe allergies. This is welcomed news for family members of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI), a volunteer network of concerned families who have been working with MPs to raise awareness of severe allergies in Ottawa.

 

The anaphylaxis motion passed with unanimous, all-Party support. Niagara West-Glanbrook MP Dean Allison initiated the debate in the House of Commons, moving: That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

 

“By bringing more attention and awareness to the Canadian public, our debate in Parliament has helped Canadians understand the signs, dangers and consequences of an anaphylactic reaction,” said MP Dean Allison. “With the passing of this motion, Canadians living with anaphylaxis receive much needed recognition from our government. We stand with them in their efforts to promote awareness of the condition.”

 

For the full press release by the CAI, click HERE.

Raising Awareness for Anaphylaxis

IMG_3523[1]

The families of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI – cia-allergies.ca) thank MP Dean Allison (photo taken at Mr. Allison’s Beamsville office).

 

Anaphylaxis was debated again in Parliament yesterday.  MP Dean Allison, who is sponsoring a motion to raise awareness of anaphylaxis, spoke about the motives behind his Motion-230.

       On the first day of discussion in the House, I referred to the stories of Lucas, Liam and David. Their daily struggles with anaphylaxis and the fear of reaction can be reduced. Motion No. 230 aims for this goal. By bringing more attention and awareness to the Canadian public, this motion will help these children and many other Canadians who live with this condition. It will help Canadians understand the signs, dangers and consequences of an anaphylactic reaction.

       Although these considerable steps have been taken, more can be done. Businesses and governments should do more to help those who live with the condition. More specifically, Parliament should recognize that anaphylaxis is a serious condition and create the necessary awareness to help those living with anaphylaxis have a higher quality of life.

       Preventive measures should be taken by everyday Canadians in order to ensure the safety of those around them, especially those at risk of having an anaphylactic reaction. Understanding the condition and which allergens could cause reactions could lead to a reduction of incidents and more peace of mind for Canadians living with severe life-threatening allergies. With the passing of Motion No. 230, Canadians living with anaphylaxis will receive much needed recognition from our government. We stand with them in their efforts to promote awareness of the condition.

 

Mississauga MP Brad Butt spoke to the statistics in Canada, that demonstrate the magnitude of anaphylaxis and the importance of bringing it to national attention.

  • It is estimated that 2.5 million Canadians live with anaphylaxis and the number continues to rise every year.
  • 3,500 Canadians experience anaphylactic shock each year from eating the wrong foods.
  • Of those 3,500, about a dozen will die unfortunately.
  • One in two Canadians know someone with a serious food allergy. Alarmingly, it is most prevalent in young children, specifically those under three years of age.
  • Close to 6% of children below the age of three, and 300,000 youth under 18 are affected by general food allergies.
  • The frequency of food allergies has increased 350% from 1996 to 2002.
  • The prevalence of peanut and nut allergies has increased 250% over that time.
  • More than 40% of Canadians examine the ingredient information on food labels, either for themselves or for someone living with anaphylaxis.
  • The most recognized allergy, of course, is the one to peanuts. This allergy affects two out of 100 children in Canada.
  • Even with great vigilance, someone with a nut allergy will have an accidental episode every three to five years. 

 

The Member of Parliament urged his colleagues to support the motion:

       Motion No. 230 is about more awareness so that Canadians will become familiar with the risks of anaphylaxis and will hopefully take precautions to limit accidental exposure for those who may be vulnerable. This, in turn, will create a safer environment for everyone.

       More awareness of this serious medical condition is needed on a nationwide level. That is why I urge members of this House to approve this motion and launch anaphylaxis further onto the national stage. By adopting this motion, the Canadian government would be taking another important step forward in ensuring that Canadians living with anaphylaxis are able to maintain a higher quality of life.

 

Click here to read the full Parliamentary M-230 debate from yesterday.

 

MPs support Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion

CAIMembers of Parliament unanimously agreed with the motion to raise awareness of anaphylaxis when they debated MP Dean Allison’s M-230 on Friday (read full debate here.)

 

Families of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) are very excited by the fact that there was all Party agreement and look forward to the next time M-230 is in Parliament later this Spring. CAI is looking for tangible steps to be taken in the weeks and months ahead. Watch for news of our efforts on the website cai-allergies.ca

 

If you are concerned about severe allergies and want to help, we are asking for you to take action in the weeks ahead. Contact your MP now. You connecting with your federally elected representative is the single, most important thing you can do to help support these efforts, on behalf of all Canadian families living with severe allergies.

 

Write. E-mail. Phone. Visit. If you can, briefly tell them your story and concerns at a MP’s BBQ or public event, or at their office. MPs are always interested to know what’s important to their constituents.  Take every opportunity to:

  • Tell them how important the Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion 230 is to your family.
    (print off and share the press releases with them)
  • Talk about some of your challenges in trying to keep your loved ones safe.
  • Ask if you can count on their support – and promise to be back in touch with news as it happens (you can forward news and background information as CAI posts new material).

 

Your actions are very important and will determine our ultimate success. Why? Each community’s voice needs to be heard in Parliament. MPs are often in their constituency offices meeting with local residents, as they want to help and learn what’s important to their constituents. If they hear first-hand the issues faced by allergic individuals and their families, it will help them better understand and put a face to the importance of this issue, and the need to act responsibly now. The more families they hear from – the better understanding MPs will have of how prevalent anaphylaxis is.  So, when this matter is debated in Parliament, they will be supportive.

 

Friday’s House of Commons debate was an important first step in this awareness initiative. Now it is important to build on the success.

 

(ed. – Read more about the CAI’s 5-point plan of action.)

 

Anaphylaxis to be debated in House of Commons

CAI

This Friday, Members of Parliament will be speaking in the House of Commons on a motion dealing with anaphylaxis, a medical condition related to severe allergies.  Readers of By George will know that we have been part of a Canadian group that has been raising awareness in Ottawa to this growing concern. The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI – www.cai.allergies.ca) is working with MPs to explore tangible ways the federal government can help reduce the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions.

Over the last five years, MPs Dean Allison and Rick Dykstra have been speaking with their colleagues and Dean Allison has sponsored motions in the previous Parliament and, tomorrow, his Motion 230 be the subject of debate in this Parliament.  There are a good number of MPs from all parties that have come together to support greater awareness on Parliament Hill and within the federal bureaucracy:  Bob Dechert, Joy Smith, Megan Leslie, Cheryl Gallant, Yvon Godin, Stella Ambler, Scott Armstrong, Brad Butt, Eve Adams, Ron Cannan, Rob Nicholson, John Baird, Bob Rae, Malcolm Allen, Patrick Brown, Colin Carrie, Wladyslaw Lizon and Justin Trudeau. Thank you for your continued support.

Through the years, the By George Journal has posted more than 30 articles on this issue.  You can see the full index by clicking on the articles tagged “anaphylaxis”.  To get a better idea of CAI and our recent efforts in Ottawa, here is a short list of four articles:

MPs Receptive to Acting on Anaphylaxis Issues

       Activities in Parliament through 2011-12

The CAI and Anaphylaxis Awareness in Ottawa

       The Genesis of Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative and working with MPs

Anaphylactic Reactions are Serious; Potentially Fatal

       A picture says a thousands words…

Families seeking a responsible response to anaphylaxis

       CAI’s call to action

Motion 230 will be debated in the House of Commons tomorrow, April 19, during Private Members Business at 1:30 – 2:30.  MP Dean Allison will be leading off this important debate for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who must cope with severe, life threatening allergies.

Anaphylaxis & Ottawa & MPs

Last week By George Journal marked the first anniversary of a special House of Commons debate on anaphylaxis with a series of posts about severe allergies and what Ottawa is and can do to help reduce the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions. Here is an index of those articles.

Anaphylaxis Issue:  Allergen Food Labelling

       Federal Government’s new labelling regulations

Anaphylaxis Issue:  Research (great news last week!)

       Federal Government’s $36.5 million commitment to allergy research  

MPs Receptive to Acting on Anaphylaxis Issues

       Activities in Parliament through 2011-12

The CAI and Anaphylaxis Awareness in Ottawa

       The Genesis of Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative and working with MPs

CAI’s Spring Activities in Ottawa

       Latest news from the families of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative

Families seeking a responsible response to anaphylaxis

       CAI’s call to action

Anaphylactic Reactions are Serious; Potentially Fatal

       A picture says a thousands words…

 

Post-script:  The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative is looking for interested Canadians who are concerned about anaphylaxis to join our families’ awareness campaign.  We ask you to contact us at cai.allergies@gmail.com with any suggestions for moving our goals forward – as well as any information regarding your contact with MPs.  For more information on the CAI, please visit the website: http://cai-allergies.ca/

Families seeking a responsible response to anaphylaxis

Earlier this year, a 7-year old child attending a Virginia school died after suffering an anaphylactic reaction to a peanut product. Teachers and school staff failed to respond to save Amaria’s life (see TV report).   

Elizabeth Goldenberg, one of Canada’s leading allergy safety experts, wrote in her blog One Spot Allergy some of the troubling questions we all ask as parents of children with severe allergies:  

     Case after case of catastrophic injury and death involve teachers or school nurses who failed to recognize an allergic or asthmatic emergency. Once they did realize what was happening, they responded slowly and inadequately, by failing to inject the patient with an EpiPen or choosing to call parents instead of 911.  How many deaths will it take until every State and Province in North America has mandatory allergy safety provisions for schools?

These tragic stories keep us up at night.

Not wanting to see further headlines like Amaria’s death drive the families of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative.  

As families dealing with the realities of anaphylaxis, we want to ensure Canadians with life-threatening allergies have safer environments to live, work and play.  There are a growing number of families in Canada who are directly affected – and, together, we can make a statement for the health and safety of our loved ones.

Want to help? You can. Here’s how:

  • Connect with the CAI and join our advocacy efforts
  • Write a letter of support for Motion 230
  • Contact your local MP and share your family’s concerns
  • Contact CAI’s list of MPs to voice your support 

And if you are not sure exactly what to say, visit CAI’s “Take Action” page and surf through the information on the organization’s website.

We hope and trust that in this Parliament we can raise MPs’ awareness and the level of debate, prompting action with Health Canada and other federal departments and agencies that deal with allergy concerns. Every single voice lends itself to our chorus of families who seek a responsible response to anaphylaxis.  

Speak up, join us, and be heard.

Chris George is a father of a 9-year old son, who has severe peanut, tree nuts and legume allergies. The George Family are members of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative : http://cai-allergies.ca .

CAI’s Spring Activities in Ottawa

Last month, anaphylaxis advocate Cindy Paskey visited with MP Dean Allison in Ottawa to discuss the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative group’s activities through the Spring Session of Parliament.  Here is the meat of the press release issued as a result of the discussions.

     CAI is working with a core group of MPs to raise greater understanding of the daily challenges anaphylaxis presents to affected Canadians, their families and the general public. MP Dean Allison, a leading champion of this campaign, comments, “I understand the stressful challenges of staying safe through the many e-mails and messages of support I receive- not only from families, but also from the many people who know someone living with a life-threatening allergy. Parliament and the Ottawa bureaucracy can help increase their health and safety.”

     One of their key successes has been introducing an anaphylaxis awareness motion in the House of Commons. MP Allison’s M-230 reads:

     That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

     Cindy Paskey comments on her Ottawa visit. “Talks with Dean Allison have been very productive. Together, the CAI and MPs will continue their efforts to educate the Parliament Hill community. Greater awareness and government actions are necessary to achieve day-to-day safety for the increasing number of Canadian children and families coping with severe allergies that can cause deadly allergic reactions.”

     Ms. Paskey explains that, in the months to come, CAI will meet with MPs sitting on the Health Committee and will continue the dialogue with the Minister of Health and her staff. There are plans to host an information meeting to ensure all Parliamentarians receive the latest news relating to Motion 230. Also, as a stakeholder, CAI continues to engage Health Canada in the improvement of allergen labeling regulations.

To read the press release in its entirety, click onto the CAI’s website – here