Thunder Bay Forum Report
CANCER ADVOCACY COALITION OF
P u b l i c F o r u m Wednesday 11 October 2000, 7:00-9:00 pm
1. Louisa Pedri introduced the organization
and then the speakers.
What is the CACC?
CACC is a new, national not-for-profit organization. It was the brainchild
of Pat Kelly, a breast cancer survivor, who felt that women with this
type of cancer were not getting the available or standard treatment.
She met with other individuals who had similar concerns. It became apparent
that individuals affected by other types of cancers faced similar difficulties
so work got under way to form an all-encompassing advocacy group for
all cancer sites. After an organizational meeting in November 1999,
it registered as Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada in January 2000.
Today marks the first public meeting for the organization across Canada
and at the back of the newly published magazine, Cancer Care In Canada,
you will see a list of all the cities that will be hosting a meeting
this evening across Canada.
Someone asked what the difference was between
CACC and other existing cancer groups. A distinct difference is that
CACC is registered as a not-for-profit organization, which means that
your monetary support will not be tax deductible but all of the money
the group raises can be used for lobbying and advocacy work for cancer
care. The other cancer organizations can only use up to 10% of their
funds for that purpose mainly because they are registered as charitable.
The CACC is open to all individuals and group
members who want to improve the state of cancer care in this country.
It is the only cancer group representing all cancer sites and devoted
exclusively to advocacy unlike other
What is CACC hoping to achieve?
The Coalition has a mandate to make comprehensive and patient-centered
cancer care a national priority. The Coalition will examine the pressing
issues in cancer care and mobilize our membership of cancer care advocates
across the country to encourage change at all levels, from national
and provincial public policy to local service directory.
Dr. Kotalik will talk about the findings of
the Report Card and the panel members will respond to those findings
and reaction to the establishment of the CACC.
Dr. Jaro Kotalik is a Radiation Oncologist recently retired
from the NWORCC; Director of the Centre for Health Care Ethics, Lakehead
University and a Founding Member of the CACC.
What is the Cancer Report Card 2000?
Presentation with transparencies:
- increasing number of new cancer patients
- change in survival of cancer patients
- variations in death rates from province
to province and comparison with USA
- delays and inequality in access to treatment
- shortage of cancer care professionals
- incomplete information on cancer burden
and services in Canada.
MP for Thunder Bay Nippigon
Mr. Commuzi listed some recent initiates of the Federal government in
the health area, such as agreement with provinces on funding enhancement,
$500 million fund for science and technology, $45 million for the breast
cancer foundation, doubling of money for research through Canadian Institute
of Health research. He agreed that we seem to be making only marginal
progress in cancer area. He confirmed importance of lobbying efforts
in Ottawa. He concluded, The CACC provides the missing link and a lobbying
effort that has great importance in Ottawa. Cancer programs can never
be strong unless the population strongly and visibly supports them.
Mr. Dean William Douglas
Executive Director, Northwestern Ontario Prostate Cancer Research
& Support Group.
Mr. Douglas described his group’s difficult task of giving more
attention and higher profile to cancer of prostate. He concluded, The
creation of this advocacy coalition will likely turn out to be the most
important event in the history of cancer care for some decades.
Co-chair,Thunder Bay Breast Support Group
Ms Hughes listed number of examples where care for cancer patients and
cancer screening can and must be improved in our own area. She noted
that many people in her generation are totally unprepared for a cancer
diagnosis and their level of concern need to be raised. She indicated
her group support for the common front in cancer advocacy.
Chair of Thunder Bay Superior North Ont PC Riding
Related how much his family was affected by cancer and asked for more
attention to quality of life of cancer patients and provision of home
support. He would like to see community groups under the umbrella of
CACC to advocate for global and local changes. He stressed the need
for more information about the access to care and treatment results,
using agreed to language throughout Canada. He felt that we need to
set definite goals in our struggle against cancer and assure the same
standard of treatment is offered anywhere in Canada.
Louisa Pedri read the letter from Lyn
McLeod, MPP for Thunder Bay Atikokan.
Director of Regional Planning and Administration, NWO RCC
Mr. Power offered additional cancer statistics suggested that the differences
between provinces are not large and that Ontario’s situation is good.
He stressed the need for cancer prevention, such as no smoking, diet,
exercise and screening that all can decrease the incidence of cancer.
He stressed that we have the best cancer care system in the world, yet
many thing are not perfect and need to be improved. He concluded that
the work of CACC can be very valuable and helpful to cancer care systems,
especially to educate “ funders” of health care about population needs
and frustrations. He offered to assist the work of CACC at the local
level and would encourage the health care professionals to join CACC.
Questions from the audience
Many questions were asked during an hour-long discussion and were answered
by the panel members. Common themes of questions were:
a) How to attract and keep professionals in NW Ontario. Ad hoc funding
improvements are only of limited value; we need to train more cancer
care professionals in Canada and also in NOW. There is a need for a
Medical School in Thunder Bay.
b) Why are the statistics for British Columbia more favorable and what
could be done to improve the Ontario’s position. Influence of the population
mix, life style, treatment standards.
c) How to improve understanding of population as concern cancer issues?
d) Is it fair that patients from NW Ontario have to pay for travel to
couth but patients from south are fully funded to have treatment in
e) Should cancer patient get funding for supplementary therapies that
f) Should all patients have access to clinical trials and experimental
Total time : 2 Hours
Audience: 43 people
After the meeting:
Several cancer survivors related personal stories to panel members
and express interest to get involved in CACC’s work.