A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A large part of the work being undertaken by the transitional Council of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (transitional Council) over the past few years has been to draft and submit the four Regulations that provide the legislative framework for the Naturopathy Act 2007 to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the Ministry). At the point when all four of the Regulations are approved, or in the Ministry’s language ‘sealed’, that is the point when the Naturopathy Act, 2007 can be proclaimed and the regulation of Naturopathic Doctors will move from the Drugless Practitioners Act to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. Following two years of extensive work by the staff and members of the transitional Council, in addition to extensive public consultation, all four Regulations were submitted to the Ministry in December 2011 in order to meet the March 31, 2013 proclamation timeframe previously established.
Since December 2011, TC-CONO has worked closely with the Ministry to complete the Regulations, by-laws, policies and procedures necessary to allow for the full proclamation of the Naturopathy Act, 2007 and the formation of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. Of the four draft Regulations submitted in 2011, the Quality Assurance Regulation is the only one that has been fully approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, published on e-laws and sealed early in 2013. As of the end of the fiscal year 2013, the draft Professional Misconduct Regulation is considered to be complete, however has not yet been sealed pending final review of the Controlled Acts Regulation. The draft Registration Regulation continues to be reviewed by the Registration Committee of the transitional Council in response to the Ministry’s review process and the draft Controlled Acts Regulation has been returned by the Ministry for additional review. Despite the tremendous effort and amount of work on the part of our stakeholders, our staff, the transitional Council itself and the Ministry, it was announced in early 2013 that the date for proclamation will be delayed to the Fall of 2013.
In March 2013 the Ministry advised the transitional Council that the draft Controlled Acts Regulation (formerly the Authorized Acts Regulation) was being returned for additional work as there were significant areas where further information or clarification was required - such as the definition of a naturopathic examination as it is used in the Naturopathy Act, 2007, the definition of naturopathic techniques and therapies used in the course of practicing the profession, ensuring that standards of practice are met and maintained by members when performing the controlled acts and prescribing, other standards of practice and any requirements, limitations or conditions on the performance of the controlled acts.
The Ministry also clarified that the task at hand in redrafting the new Controlled Acts Regulation would be to quantify the scope of practice of the profession as it existed at the time the Naturopathy Act, 2007 was introduced, i.e. in 2007. Further, the broader questions surrounding potentially expanding the scope of practice of the profession would need to wait until the Naturopathy Act, 2007 was fully proclaimed and the new College established.
As a result of the return of the draft Controlled Acts Regulation, staff at the transitional Council established a plan to allow a close working relationship with key stakeholders in moving forward. The Naturopathic Doctors of Ontario (NDO), Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), and the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) were all invited to work closely with staff and members of the transitional Council on working groups to address the key concerns raised by the Ministry and, ideally, build a consensus on how the performance of controlled acts will be regulated.
These working groups met twice in April 2013 and a revised draft Regulation was presented to the transitional Council at their May 2013 for review. It is the intention of the transitional Council to circulate the draft Regulation and associated tables to all stakeholders, including members of the profession, for review and feedback prior to the end of May 2013. This 60-day public consultation process is expected to close in July 2013.
The Ministry has asked that the transitional Council submit the revised Regulation by August 2013 and while this is an ambitious timeframe, with the help of our stakeholders, the plan developed by transitional Council will allow us to meet this goal.
While the past fiscal year has been challenging, it has also been extremely productive. Thank you to the members of transitional Council and the staff of the Ministry for their continued efforts to move this process forward. Thank you to the NDO, CAND, CCNM and the entire staff at the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N) for their ongoing support and a very special thank you to the staff of the transitional Council for their tremendous efforts and professionalism over this past year. Together, we will accomplish the goal of proclamation of the Naturopathy Act, 2007 by the end of Fall 2013.
Tom Ellis, ND
Transitional Council of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario