Guelph, ONT–With a provincial election taking place on June 2, 2022, the OAVT is reflecting on its recent government advocacy efforts. Over the course of Ontario’s 42nd Parliament, the OAVT has continued its advocacy work to strengthen and support the province’s RVT workforce, including joint efforts with the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) and the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) to modernize the regulation of veterinary medicine.
The OAVT is proud to have made significant strides towards our objectives over the last four years, and especially over the last 12 months. In the last year the OAVT has:
- Continued training members to engage with local elected officials. The OAVT hosted several training sessions for members that are interested in meeting with local elected officials to discuss the OAVT’s advocacy priorities. Following these sessions, OAVT members have organized and attended meetings to raise awareness of RVTs’ priorities with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) such as Christine Hogarth, Vic Fedeli and Ernie Hardeman.
- Launched a letter-writing campaign for members and veterinary technology students to write to their local MPP in support of increased utilization of RVTs in the provision of veterinary care. Over 470 letters were sent reaching the majority of the 124 MPPs.
- Adapted our government communications to focus on Ontario’s shortage of veterinary professionals, which the OAVT recognizes has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and pandemic pets. This message has helped our cause resonate with a broad range of elected officials because it echoes the realities that they may be experiencing themselves or hearing from their constituents.
- Attended two meetings with the Office of the Minister of Colleges and Universities to discuss how Ontario’s RVT workforce can be strengthened and supported, through training and education initiatives. One example of how this can be done is introducing micro-credential programs to upskill RVTs and fill unmet animal health care needs.
- Met with Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson, and strengthened our relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The OAVT, OVMA, and CVO jointly met with Minister Thompson to build on previous conversations about modernizing the Veterinarians Act, including enhancing the scope of practice for RVTs. The meeting was positive, and Minister Thompson committed to legislative reform being a priority in the government’s next mandate, if re-elected. The OAVT has also strengthened our relationship with OMAFRA and, as a key stakeholder, was asked to provide a quote for a government announcement regarding veterinary capacity on Ontario Farms.
The OAVT looks forward to continuing to advocate with the next government on behalf of the RVT profession for increased RVT scope of practice, following the June 2nd election.