Legislative Reform

Background

The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT), the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) have been working collaboratively over many years towards a shared goal of modernizing the regulation of veterinary medicine in the province in order to strengthen public protection and more accurately reflect current practice.

  • This has included four years of policy research and consultations that culminated in the proposal Achieving a Modern Approach to the Regulation of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario, which was submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2018. 
  • CVO and OAVT, in conjunction with OVMA, established a Legislative Reform Implementation Advisory Group, to develop collaboratively the pieces of the reform. 
  • This has included proposed amendments to the legislation (Veterinarians Act) such as on council composition, where consultation has taken place, as well as early work to update regulations, including the registration regulation.

On November 21st, OMAFRA opened the Veterinarian’s Act for public consultation, a process where the government actively seeks the opinions of interested and affected groups, like RVTs, before changes are made to the legislation. This feedback will inform a discussion paper. Details on the proposed changes to the Veterinarians Act are available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-veterinarians-act-ontario. RVTs can share their feedback by email at vetact.omafra@ontario.ca.

RVT voices will continue to be represented throughout the public consultation process, and the OAVT will continue to keep members updated on how they can be more involved in the next phase of this important work.

Milestones and timelines on the legislative reform process, including how RVTs can participate, will be added to this page as soon as they are available to the OAVT.

We will continue to post the latest updates and communications regarding modernizing Ontario’s Veterinarians Act here:

Want to join the OAVT in its advocacy efforts? You can email advocacy@oavt.org with questions.

Continue to check back for more resources to help you as the OAVT increases its advocacy efforts.

What will happen to the OAVT if the planned changes to the Veterinarians Act are implemented?

When the planned changes to modernize the regulation of veterinary medicine are implemented, the OAVT will transition to be the professional association for RVTs and the body that accredits RVT educational programs in the province in addition to other member services focused activities. Currently, the OAVT also regulates RVTs, ensuring only those who meet training, educational (including continuing education) and exam requirements are able to be registered and use the title Registered Veterinary Technician.

What is the role of a professional association?

The primary role of a professional association is to serve and advocate for its members. A professional association decides its own direction, meaning its mandate is driven by its membership and those elected to the Board. Examples of activities undertaken by a professional association may include:

  • Educational opportunities such as the OAVT annual conference and the RVT Journal
  • Perks and Benefits including liability insurance, human resource consulting, legal advice, or discounts on scrubs
  • Wage related initiatives for example the OAVT wage and compensation survey

What is the role of a regulator?

The role of a regulator is to protect the public interest. A regulator has a mandate to protect the public by ensuring the care or service they receive from the professional (the RVT) are competent and ethical, and meet professional standards. Examples of activities undertaken by a regulator may include:

  • Set the requirements for becoming an RVT in Ontario and ensure registrants meet them.
  • Ensure registrant’s awareness of their accountabilities to deliver safe, competent, ethical care.
  • Ensure registrants engage in continuous professional improvement and education throughout their careers.
  • Develop and set standards of practice for the profession.
  • Respond to concerns about RVT conduct, competence, and fitness to practice.

Why can’t we self-regulate and have the OAVT continue as our regulatory and professional association moving forward?

The OAVT will continue in its current role until legislative reform is able to be achieved. In order to realize our objective of seeing official recognition of RVTs in Ontario legislation and regulations, as well to more accurately reflect current practice and strengthen public protection, legislative reform is required. Through legislative reform, a new regulatory body will be established; one that regulates both veterinarians and RVTs together. 

How can we be sure that the RVT voice will be heard if our regulatory body changes and we no longer self-regulate?

The OAVT has worked collaboratively with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association through the Legislative Reform Implementation Advisory Group for the past two years, and for years before that, to ensure that the voice of RVTs is heard and represented as we work towards a new regulatory framework. Throughout all of this, RVTs have been involved. Going forward, the OAVT, as the professional association, will continue to advocate on behalf of RVTs.

Why do we have to change the Veterinarians Act? Are there any changes the OAVT can make without changing the act?

In order to see the changes for which the OAVT has been advocating for many years, including recognition of the profession in the province’s legislative and regulatory framework, the Veterinarians Act must first be amended.

We have heard about Legislative Reform for years. Why are we still not there yet?

The OAVT has been working towards the goal of legislative reform for many years, but as legislative change needs to be driven by government and in particular the governing elected officials, we need to put our best efforts in to make the case that the time is now. Let the OAVT know if you’d like to get involved and email advocacy@oavt.org

Was the public and veterinary community asked about these changes?

Consultations with both the public and the veterinary community on a number of pieces related to legislative reform have occurred over the past number of years. For example, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario consulted widely on the legislative reform proposal, which can be found here. CVO has also led the consultations on other pieces including council composition and title protection.

Advocacy is…

  • Acting or speaking in favour of a cause, idea, or policy
  • Attempting to influence outcomes such as public policy and resource allocation decisions.
  •  Telling your story to someone in government so that they are compelled to do (or not to do) something.

For an association like the OAVT, advocacy means building relationships with members of provincial Parliament (MPPs) and other government decision-makers and educating them about priorities for RVTs in Ontario.

 

Other resources

  • February 2018 OAVT/CVO joint letter to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs- read here
  • April 2017 OAVT/CVO joint video discussing scope of practice consultations – watch here
  • May 2017 OAVT/CVO joint webinar (recorded): The Evolving Scope of Practice of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario – watch here
  • April 2017 OAVT/CVO joint podcast: The Evolving Scope of Practice of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario – listen here

In this section

How do I become an RVT

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