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Anaphylaxis and the Unanimous Motion 230 Vote

by Chris George (first published on By George Journal – May 28, 2013)

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! Read more

Mississauga City MPs push anaphylaxis awareness

MISSISSAUGA NEWS (by Ian Colpitts) — Five Mississauga MPs were on the frontlines of a successful motion in parliament to raise awareness of anaphylaxis.

Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert, along with fellow Mississauga MPs Brad Butt (Mississauga-Streetsville), Stella Ambler (Mississauga South), Wladyslaw Lizon (Mississauga East-Cooksville) and Eve Adams (Mississauga-Brampton South), took part in the unanimous vote on May 22. Read more

CAI urges MPs to Advance Anaphylaxis 5-Point Action Policy

CAI urges MPs to Advance Anaphylaxis  5-Point Action Policy

Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative urges action at Federal level

June 17, 2013 – OTTAWAA volunteer network of families celebrate the recent historic Parliamentary vote and, at the same time, urge MPs to push for action that can improve the lives of Canadians coping with the medical condition anaphylaxis. The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) would like to have the Government follow-up the House of Commons unanimous vote for greater anaphylaxis awareness with a coordinated plan of action led by Health Canada. On May 22, the House of Commons wholly supported a motion to raise awareness of anaphylaxis. Motion M-230 calls for the government to take “the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.” Cindy Paskey, a CAI founder, says, “We are all encouraged that the federal government has anaphylaxis on its radar screen. Our group has spent years with MPs Dean Allison, Rick Dykstra, Bob Dechert and others, to raise an appreciation for the seriousness of this life-threatening medical condition that affects 2.5 million Canadians.”We celebrate the unanimous vote and thank all MPs for their support,” says Ms. Paskey. Debbie Bruce, another CAI founder says, “The MPs’ vote was great recognition of the need for government and the public to gain a greater understanding of severe allergies. Now is the time for the Federal Government to act.” Ms. Bruce adds, “The CAI is moving forward to reach out and have greater numbers of MPs involved with our efforts, greater numbers of Canadians speaking out, and a movement within Health Canada that will prompt activity on some specific policies we know will make a difference.” With the passage of the Parliamentary motion, CAI is stepping up its efforts in advocating for a 5-Point Action Policy. The group is calling for action in the following areas:

  • Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information; seeking a comprehensive and coordinated response by federal government offices and agencies to the various health and quality of life issues relating to anaphylaxis.
  • Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – of national, general public information initiatives, and accurate and targeted information to groups such as medical professionals, first aid and emergency training providers, child care workers, food service providers and to those who work in the hospitality industry.
  • Long Term Commitment to Research – supporting a strategic response and more dollars for research, and standardized and evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis, management and treatment of food allergies and anaphylaxis needs to be developed.
  • Improved Allergen Labeling – for foods, drugs, cosmetics and personal care products. Welcomed labeling regulations were announced February 2011, but more needs to be done, for example, regulating the use of precautionary allergen statements such as “may contain,” and consideration of an “allergy aware” symbol indicating that an item has indeed been reviewed for the 10 major allergens; and Health Canada should follow-through on commitments to improve allergen labeling.
  • Improved Transportation Safeguards – Request that Parliament enact a “Policy to Reduce the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers”.

Ms. Bruce, who is taking the lead position in future CAI efforts, commends core families who are today stepping away from the central management of the organization. “Thank you to Cindy Paskey and Chris George, who have helped our cause so much and for their invaluable contribution to our efforts in Ottawa these past five years. As a group we have captured MPs’ attention.” She adds, “The CAI will continue to push for action on policies that are recognized as raising the quality of life for Canadians with anaphylaxis.”

For more information on CAI, visit or contact:

Debbie Bruce – 905 828 1954 /

Mindi Ferkul – 905 938 9100 /

Cindy Paskey – 905 934 0681/

Gladys Vergis-Mayo – 905 893 4675/

Wednesday’s vote on Motion M-230 in the House of Commons, May 22, 2013 was a historic and exciting day!

For the families attending Wednesday’s vote on Motion M-230 in the House of Commons, May 22, 2013 was a historic and exciting day!  This photo of David and Liam says it all!

Read about it in our press release:

Members of Parliament Pass Anaphylaxis Motion 230 – May 22, 2013

There are so many people to thank for helping to make Canada’s recognition of anaphylaxis a reality.  MP Dean Allison introduced the Motion. Working closely with MP Rick Dykstra and their combined staff, they educated and gained support among all of their colleagues on Parliament Hill.

Two Hundred and sixty-three MPs stood up and let their YES vote be counted!

Notable are the number of families across Canada who let their MP know the significance of his / her support.

Your calls, your letters and your conversations have been responded to.  M-230 received unanimous all-Party support!   Two hundred and sixty-three MPs stood up and let their YES vote be counted!  When the call for ‘Nay’ votes was made, not a single MP stood up.  A rare occurrence, indeed!

As a community, we can continue working together to make positive change to improve the quality of life for people and families living with anaphylaxis.

Please thank your MP for his / her support.  Let your MP know how advances with the CAI policy goals will impact the lives of the people you love.

Special thanks for the persistent, behind-the-scenes work of the CAI Planning Group:  Chris George, Debbie Bruce, Mindie Ferkul, Gladys Vergis-Mayo and Roy Mayo.

Stay tuned!


For more information, visit Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative and contact:
Debbie Bruce — 905 828 1954 /
Chris George — 613 983-0801 /
Cindy Paskey — 905 934-0681 /

Phil Nestorov, Legislative Assistant, M.P. Dean Allison — 613 995-2772 /

Members of Parliament pass Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion – May 22, 2013

Members of Parliament pass Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion

Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative pleased with “step in right direction”

May 23, 2013 – OTTAWA – MPs’ 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.”

We thank Dean, and MP Rick Dykstra before him, for raising our concerns for a more focused approach to the issues of anaphylaxis in successive Parliaments,” says Ms. Paskey, a CAI founder present in the House of Commons gallery for the vote. “We are so pleased to have such overwhelming support for greater awareness. It’s a step in the right direction and we hope MPs and officials in Ottawa will follow through with some important actions which can provide greater safety for a growing number of Canadians coping with anaphylaxis.”

The CAI has identified 5 policy areas that Ottawa can review that include:

  • Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information
  • Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – of national, general public information initiatives and accurate and targeted information to specific professional groups
  • Long Term Commitment to Research – supporting a strategic response and more dollars for research
  • Improved Allergen Labeling – for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products
  • Improved Transportation Safeguards– relating to airline and public transportation policies that reduce risks for food allergic passengers

Our group of families would like to see the increased awareness of the condition spur progress on the 5 policy areas, all which are in line with Motion 230.” Ms. Paskey adds, “There is a constituency of thousands of families across Canada who will support MPs who wish to pursue activities, whether it is with Health Canada, or in the MPs’ health committee, or a more accommodating allergy policy for airlines.”



Letter from Anaphylaxis Canada to MP Dean Allison – April 17, 2013

Click here to read the letter from Anaphaylaxis Canada regarding Motion 230.

Debbie Bruce awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Debbie Bruce was honoured to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing more than 25 years of advocacy for anaphylaxis awareness and risk reduction.  Debbie’s many achievements include establishing the first peanut/nut-free zones at Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Argo games.  She is known for her solution-focused and collaborative approach to creating safer, allergy-aware environments.  Debbie is congratulated by newly-appointed Senator Victor Oh (left) and Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert.

Cindy Paskey awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Cindy Paskey was honoured to be awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.  The medal recognizes her contributions as a long-time advocate for anaphylaxis awareness and safety, as well as for her leadership in the development of child advocacy centres, focused on a holistic approach to helping children, youth and families cope with child abuse investigations, and the process of healing and strengthening lives afterward. December 2012.

MP Dechert Raises Awareness to Anaphylaxis Month

May 30th, 2012

Mississauga, Ontario – Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale made a statement in the House of Commons today:

Mr. Bob Dechert (Mississauga—Erindale, CPC): “I stand today to bring attention to national anaphylaxis month.

Many Canadians live with a severe allergic condition that causes them to pay constant attention to what they eat, and even sometimes what they touch. They live everyday with the worry of being only one mistake away from a potentially life threatening accident.

Read more