Days on the Hill are CDA’s annual 2-day session of meetings with federal party leaders, cabinet ministers, MPs and senior government officials in Ottawa. They are designed to keep oral health issues prominent on the federal government’s agenda.
CDA’s representatives brought forward three issues as part of their meetings:
- Federal Funding for Provincial Oral Health Programs: Underlining the need for the federal government to identify and target specific funds through their health transfers for oral health programs given the ongoing erosion in these programs at the provincial level.
- Canadian Health Measures Survey: Identifying the need for a more regular and stable model of executing this essential population oral health research.
- Indigenous Children’s Oral Health: Identifying the Children’s Oral Health Initiative as a program that could be enhanced and expanded to provide community-based preventative programs.
Among the key meetings that were held:
- Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, as well as her staff
- Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition
- Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party
- Marilyn Gladu, Conservative Shadow Minister for Health
- Don Davies, NDP Health Critic
- Harold Albrecht, former dentist and MP for Kitchener-Conestoga
- Hon. Wayne Easter, Chair of the Finance Committee
- Mary Jane McCallum, Senator, First Nations woman of Cree heritage, residential school survivor and former dentist from Manitoba
In addition, CDA’s representatives met with Members of Parliament and Senators with specific responsibilities or interest in health, including members of:
- the Standing Committee on Health
- the Standing Committee on Finance
- the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs
- the Senate Committee on Social Affairs
- the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
The CDA Advocacy Committee was joined by representatives of the Assembly of First Nations at targeted meetings, as well as Dr. Paul Allison as a representative of the Academies of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry.
In addition to these meetings, CDA met with or were briefed by senior officials from departments and agencies:
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Michel Perron, Executive Vice-President, External Affairs
- Statistics Canada: Scott McLean, Chief, Canadian Health Measures Survey
- Department of Indigenous Services Canada: Valerie Gideon, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister
Overall, the meetings were very positive, and CDA is currently following up on any subsequent requests for further information.
Thanks are in order for the members of the CDA Advocacy Committee and CDA’s Days on the Hill contingent, including:
- Dr. Tom Raddall, Chair
- Dr. Mike Sullivan, Co-Chair
- Dr. Mitch Taillon, CDA President
- Dr. Sandy Mutchmor, President-Elect,
- Dr. Lynn Tomkins, CDA Board Member
- Dr. Louis Dubé
- Dr. Jason Noel
- Dr. David Zaparinuk
- Dr. Chris Robinson
- Dr. Dan Albert
- Dr. Nancy Auyeung
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