Commentary on Canada’s Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion
Chris George of Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative looks to Group’s activities through 2012
Moved to “prompt action in Ottawa” to assist those with severe, life-threatening allergies, a small group of families have come together to form the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative. These families, many from the Niagara Region, have been working with Niagara West-Glanbrook Member of Parliament Dean Allison to advance a motion in Parliament and to raise awareness of anaphylaxis among MPs and government officials.
One of the lead members of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) is Chris George, who brings both his government relations and public affairs expertise to bear on the group’s activities in Ottawa and its volunteer efforts across Canada.
“We want to see both Parliament and the federal bureaucracy become more responsive to the rising phenomenon of anaphylaxis in Canada,” explains Chris George. “Ottawa needs to take a comprehensive approach to life-threatening allergies. We need a more thoughtful, coordinated response to supporting those with anaphylaxis. For this to happen, MPs must better appreciate that there are tangible steps which can be taken to reducing the risk of people having unnecessary anaphylactic attacks.”
“We are raising awareness of this serious medical condition, so that Canadians with severe allergies can live in a safer environment with a general public that is more knowledgeable of the challenges they face,” he adds.
Mr. George says the CAI is hopeful to make great strides with their goals in the Fall and through 2012. He mentions a number of items the CAI has already accomplished:
- Helped MP Dean Allison introduce a motion in the House of Commons in June
- Published a 5-point policy request of Ottawa, already taken up by some MPs
- Contacted key MPs who support the anaphylaxis awareness initiative
- Relayed news to of the Parliamentary motion and the activities of CAI to other allergy groups across Canada
- Unveiled a CAI blog and Facebook page to chronicle the groups efforts
Motion-230, which is now in the House of Commons, 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.
Mr. George provides a glimpse of what is motivating the volunteers of the CAI. “Our families have all been directly impacted by anaphylaxis. So, we’re persistent and ever-hopeful that our efforts will prompt action in Ottawa. We want to forge the necessary connections between those decision- and policy-makers in the federal government and those Canadians who are coping with life-threatening allergies.”
The CAI’s policy requests include:
- Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information
- Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – both targeted and general public information initiatives
- Long Term Commitment to Research – a strategic response and more dollars for research
- Improved Allergen Labelling – for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products
- Improved Transportation Safeguards – airline and public transportation policies that reduce risk for food allergic passengers
For more information, visit www.cai-allergies.ca.
Chris George, CAI Spokesperson – 905-641-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org