Crisis for our Profession: Averted

March 22, 2022

Just a few short weeks ago, we all received notification from the CTCMPAO that our professions would be deregulated and the College would be wound down. That day was Monday, February 28th, it was 6 pm. In just a few short hours, TCMO went to work, tirelessly researching, investigating, and planning our next steps.

And, many in our profession picked up the challenge and sat down at their keyboards, in front of zoom calls, organizing, motivating and reaching out. This became a large group, the Coalition to Stop the Repeal of the TCM Act, united in our focus and mission to encourage the Government to reverse its
decision, as well as to more fully and completely consult with the College and all stakeholders including members of the professions (both R.Ac. and R.TCMP) as well as members of the public and TCM healthcare patients.

Members of the TCMO Executive and Board stepped up, offered support to the Coalition, added website links and resources and started a GoFundMe page. Along with members of TCMO, we encouraged the public to get involved, we wrote letters to MPP’s, signed petitions both online and in hardcopy, and participated in community zoom calls.

TCMO re-activated the government relations (GR) firm, already familiar with this Association, it was straightforward for the firm to pivot to representing the interests of the larger Coalition to provincial government, MPP’s and staff.

Mid-day Tuesday, March 1st, on behalf of the Coalition, Heather Kenny, your TCMO President gave the first media interview to Queen’s Park (QP) today. QP Today would break this story to the media, and this story would go on to form the foundation of national wire coverage of the issue.

Over just 3 days, not only was a press conference organized, but countless professionals offered countless interviews, to print media, television media and radio stations, MPP’s broached the issue in the Legislature, and late on Thursday, March 3rd , the Government announced that Bill 88 would be
referred to Committee.

And yet, the Coalition did not give up. The press conference went ahead on Friday, a quiet peaceful protest was organized for Monday at Queen’s Park, and work on this issue continued throughout the weekend.

Good news was heard on the following Monday, March 7th , just one week after its’ introduction, when it was announced that the Schedule that would have repealed the TCM Act was going to be removed from the Bill. The Coalition, schools, volunteers, TCMO, and the GR firm remained vigilant over the next days to ensure that the Schedule was indeed removed.

And, you will have received a note from the College to confirm that the Ministry of Health has directed the College to address the language barriers for practitioners to write the exams, as well as confirming that consultation will occur with practitioners before any changes to the TCM Act.

Thanks once more to Everyone that has been involved in this fight. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible efforts of members of the Coalition, who volunteered time, energy and skills to saving our profession.

Members of this profession came together, with schools, and with associations, we garnered provincial, national and international attention, with many many letters of support, including letters of support that swamped our MPP’s offices here in Ontario, more than 36000 signatures on the online petition, more than $10000 raised to support our efforts to which the Council of TCM Schools, as well as TCMO, donated an additional $5000 each.

The Coalition continues to use these funds to support the legal fees,
government relations efforts, and media relations. With the support of a united profession, the Coalition remains vigilant for the next challenge.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank all the Board members of TCMO; Aline, Royce, Zachary, Karen, Mike, Barbara, Raylene and Jason all pitched in, adding to the website, processing new memberships, writing letters, writing press briefs, and participating in conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

And, finally, I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every member of TCMO, I know each of you took time out of your schedule to monitor the issue, to chat with patients, friends and family, to write a letter to your MPP, some even called, to reach out to offer support and to work cooperatively to save our healthcare profession.

Thank you for being a member and for keeping your membership current in TCMO.