The Real Story — Dieticians and Holistic/Natural Nutritionists
On Monday November 13, 2017, CANNP Board members met with the legal counsel for Dieticians of Ontario and with a representative of Dieticians of Canada.
The objective was to make an introduction involving CAN, to find out what their concerns and plans are in regards to Nutritionists and find a path forward so that we can work together.
We are pleased to report that the meeting was successful. We found them to be open to improving the lines of communication and confirmed our knowledge that there is nothing currently happening in the area of title restriction.
They gave us a better understanding of how their organizations are run and what their objectives are.
When asked for the differences between our professions from their perspective, they replied that it’s one of education and training. Dieticians are required to have an undergraduate degree while it is not a requirement for a nutritionist. Dieticians are mainly working with doctors in an allopathic setting.
The biggest area of difference in their eyes, is disease counselling. They feel that dieticians are specifically trained to deal with patients in the area of advanced medical nutritional therapy; treating specific diseases and offering disease related counselling.
Where we intersect is in the area of health and well- being counselling. They acknowledged that there is room for holistic/natural nutritionists and dieticians to participate in this field and were comforted that we are working to help educate practitioners to work within their Scope of Practice.
As long as our Scope of Practice is different enough and not infringed on, there is no need for protectionist steps.
They offered that they have great stories of dieticians and nutritionists working together and this is something that we want to explore further.
We will be keeping in touch with these contacts to further develop a working relationship that we hope will be beneficial for nutritionists across Canada.
Meeting at the Office of the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Ontario
Under the umbrella of CAN, CANNP met at the Office of the Ontario Minister of Health early in November. In addition to presenting the CAN petition, the meeting yielded a great deal including:
- It was confirmed that there is nothing currently on the books which will be detrimental to our ability to practice.
- We will be notified should anything be brought forward which would impact our profession.
- We learned which aspects CAN needs to focus on in order to ensure our continued ability to thrive in the industry.
CAN Meeting Update
- Status in the industry
Lawyer Glenn Rumbell reported in writing of what he discovered in researching our status with the dieticians. His findings indicated that there is nothing on the books about infringing on the word “nutritionist” nor are there imminent plans in Ontario. He did suggest that we not be complacent. Glenn continues to remain in contact with the dieticians.
CAN should then capitalize on the momentum that we have, as an opportunity to be prepared, to make the necessary contacts and to educate the government and the public.
The good news is that unlike Alberta, which was a total blindside, Ontario is willing to have meetings and discussions with us.
- What the overall CAN plan to date is to:
- Define who we are, what we do and why we are different
- Collect testimonials and letters of support, particularly from regulated professionals
- Collect surveys to illustrate how educated and dedicated our group is
- Collect petition signatures, acceptable to the Ont. Legislature, to show that we are a cohesive, educated and influential group
- Meet with office of the minister to share our findings, educate and make the vital contact
- Where we are in the CAN plan
a. Definition is complete and has been distributed with request to share on websites and social media (on-going)
b. Testimonials and letters of support are still being gathered, though not at a rate that was hoped (on-going.)
c. Surveys are in and the results show:
- We are predominately women between 31-50
- We are predominately in urban areas
- The majority who responded were CANNP members.
- Of those who responded, most had secondary and post-secondary education and include lawyers, nurses, MA’s and several BSc, among other degrees.
- Of those who responded most are in private practice and they have, on average, 30 clients each.
We would like to continue to collect surveys and update this information to enhance accuracy.
d. We have an impressive 1,200 plus signatures on the petition to take to the Office of the Minister.
- What the next steps are to:
- Meet in the Office of the Minister as part of the government and public campaign to share information. Part of the purpose of this meeting is to ensure that should there be amendments to legislation in the works, the CAN group will be informed. Also, this is just an important contact to foster.
- Expand the CAN efforts – the exact agenda will be somewhat dependent on the above noted meeting as well as other input from the CAN group
- Reach out to and meet with regulated professions like naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors, dieticians and health professions regulatory council.
It was suggested that osteopaths be added to our list of professional groups to contact.
Also, as part of the CAN mission to reach and educate the public, we should explore with these regulated professions, what they did, how they did it and how successful their public campaigns were.
Reaching the public will be helpful to our efforts with the government which often react to public pressure.
There was a little discussion around the need for one cohesive group — which is the very mission of CAN. Some attendees were surprised that there was any other group that was working independently.
A suggestion was made that we all work under one singular title, preferably one that is inclusive such as the one always used in CAN – Holistic/Natural Nutritionist. Since we are making strides in this direction, this is the perfect time to make sure that we are clear about what we call ourselves as part of our identity.
The initial meeting of CAN — Canadian Action for Nutrition Video
CAN convened November 16th, 2016, informally chaired by Glenn Rumbell, lawyer and director of the CANNP.
In attendance by invitation: Wendy Gibson, Beth Gorbet, Glenn Rumbell, Paul Fink (CANNP), Rose O’Leary and Karen Gilman (CSNN), Marlene Marshall (Edison), Elizabeth and George Papadopoulos (IHN), Lorene Sauro (CAHN-Pro), Michelle Weir and Patricia Farouk (CSNN Alumni), Briana Santoro (The Naked Label), Sandra Power (Health Coach Success Hub), Margo Laing and Jill Hillhouse. There were others invited, unable to attend.
Why this meeting: Wendy Gibson, Co-Executive Director, CANNP
CANNP was going to undertake this initiative on our own but felt that bringing together a broader group of industry minds would allow the goals to be accomplished faster and more completely.
The situation in Alberta was certainly an impetus for the formation of CAN with the potential threat looming for the rest of the country. To date in the provinces affected, the regulated group (dieticians) has not had any push-back from an organized coalition.
Ultimately, the plan forward would be a ‘proactive’ action as opposed to ‘reactive’, with the notion that it is always harder to reclaim lost ground down the road.
To that end, the thought is to fully and powerfully establish our own identity and open the doors to discussion on how best to proceed with educating the public, and lobbying government and insurers.
The next step: It was generally agreed that a core, overseeing group, be formed from those in attendance. This group will develop priorities and objectives to be undertaken with subgroups of volunteers.
We will keep the Membership posted.