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