Talking Allergies

British Columbia organizing!
Page 5 of 7

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:36 am ]
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Pam, Great update - quite the day.

Love the poem.

cheers, Gwen

Author:  BC Mom [ Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:23 pm ]
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Posting this for Caroline2:

Just in case people didn't get a chance to read the Hansard that day:

What a day it was! Thank you to all who were able to make it on such short notice, and to those of you who were supportive from home. We are certainly getting somewhere. . . although it is obvious to me we still have a lot to do to convince the Government that it is time to pass the legislation.

Here is the Hansard :
Introduction and
First Reading of Bills
D. Cubberley presented a bill intituled Anaphylactic Student Protection Act, 2007. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

D. Cubberley: I move that the bill be read for a first time today. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Motion approved. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

D. Cubberley: I'm pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the Anaphylactic Student Protection Act. Anaphylaxis is a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction triggered by food allergens like peanuts, seafood, egg and dairy products. To date, British Columbia has taken a voluntary approach to anaphylactic preparedness, leaving many anxious parents to blaze their own trails on these issues. The level of concern this raises is evident from the interest by guests in this chamber today. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
This bill would ensure that all B.C. schools are equally prepared to monitor anaphylactic students, avoid inadvertent triggering of anaphylactic reactions and intervene effectively should they occur. The bill requires every school board to establish and maintain an anaphylactic policy, setting out risk-reduction strategies and a mandatory regular training program. It requires every school principal to maintain a file and individual plan for each anaphylactic student. It also enables school board employees to administer or supervise student administration of medication in the event of an anaphylactic reaction. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
This bill is modelled on Sabrina's Law adopted in Ontario after Sabrina Shannon died from inadvertently consuming fries that were likely contaminated with a dairy protein, to which she was highly allergic. Severe allergic reactions happen quickly, and intervention has to be equally swift, and it cannot be left to chance. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
This bill mandates a uniform approach on a serious public health issue affecting between 1 and 2 percent of all students. It's a tangible way of improving student safety through school preparedness. The issue is non-partisan, and it's our hope that government will see the way to support the bill and respond to the needs of anaphylactic families. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
I move that this bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
Bill M210, Anaphylactic Student Protection Act, 2007, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
After this was read, we went into the NDP caucus room where we got to speak more with MLAs Shane Simpson and David Cubberley. Both gentlemen were really empathetic and pleased to give their time to this important issue. And, as they are presenting this as an non-partisan issue (which means they are not doing this for political party gain) they are willing to hand it over to the gov't so they can make it their own and pass the legislation. And therein lies our challenge.

After we spoke with the media (CH TV channel 6, CBC, and ? Global? TV), we waited to see if Shirley Bond was available. Unfortunately, she was otherwise committed so we met with Paige MacFarlane, Assistant Deputy Minister of Partnerships and Planning in charge of the file on anaphylaxis. She started by saying that she was willing to follow Alberta's example and set up a task force to look into what could be done. We stated that this was not necessary, and that we have the example put forward by Ontario, and now the legislation drafted by the NDP. This does not seem to be enough for them to take it on. . . .

SO -- in the interest of time, I think this is very very important that everyone with a Liberal MLA write them ASAP to tell them how important this legislation is to your family. -- if you have an NDP MLA, write her/him. But perhaps the key person in all of this is to write Shirley Bond, the Minister of Education. We need a meeting with HER -- not an assistant of any sort. No matter who in the government gets the information that this is needed, it appears that the decision is up to her. We must convince her to move forward. Her email is

Thank you to everyone for what you are doing to protect our kids. I will send information out as I hear it. We also have the media interested in the story, so let's figure out a way to approach them for something in print. Everything helps, so keep up the fight!


Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:31 am ]
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I have copied your last post on this website:
FYI-I'll just continue to update them in this way. :)

Author:  shirley [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:20 am ]
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Caroline - do you remember the name of the reporter from, I believe, CH news? she said she was doing a series about allergies coming up this week - I'd like to contact her. I suppose I could just phone the station ..............

Have been emailing and passing out hard copy materials to friends and acquaintances to ask for support for the bill. Surprising how many people think it is about "banning peanuts from schools", so I am making that clear to the folks that that is not what this legislation is about.

Author:  KarenOASG [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:31 am ]
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Hi all -

There are a number of threads about this very important subject... but in the interest of keeping us all looking at the same place (and thus not missing important info), I've locked those threads and pointed everyone to this one.

If you want to read what was being said on those threads, go to
- ... php?t=2039
- ... php?t=2059
- ... php?t=2040


Author:  kmommy [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:29 am ]
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Hi, I have been sending out e-mails to everyone I know to help get support for this bill. I have sent e-mails to 3 different MLA's. I am doing whatever I can to roundup support.

Yeah, it's not about 'banning peanuts' it IS about preparedness in schools. And it is sooo important!!!

I really don't know how my MIL got through all those years of raising my husband (with peanut allergy) without all the support and knowledge that we now have. Back then parents never thought twice about sending a peanut butter sandwich to school with their child. I know I used to take peanut butter sandwiches to school all the time.

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:27 pm ]
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David Cubberley, the NDP MLA who introduced the bill, stressed the importance of keeping the momentum going to AL's Claire Gagné: the governing Liberal party could or could not allow a second reading of Cubberley’s bill.
Or - they could come to see the benefit in introducing their own legislation.

“Keep the cards and letters coming,” Cubberley urges.

We need to get some e-mails going to Education Minister Shirley Bond in support of the proposed law. Write to:, with a cc to:

Tell her why this law is so essential for B.C. kids. Notes from B.C. residents will be particularly persuasive.

Cubberley's office says residents of B.C. should also go to to find the address for their respective MLA, and write that person, too.

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:35 pm ]
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Further to last post, this is from Yvonne Rousseau, B.C. Allergy/Asthma Information Association (AAIA) co-ordinator. She's working hard to move this bill forward. Tell others you know who could write and lend their support in B.C. (They don't even have to have allergies in the family to "get" the importance):

Hi Everyone,

Here is the latest news from BC. A Private Member’s Bill was read in the Legislature in Victoria on March 28th. I was there to give the support of the AAIA. Now, we need your support to ensure this legislation is passed.

It is very, very important that as many people as possible write to their MLAs as soon as possible to tell them how important this legislation is to families and children affected by anaphylaxis. Your letters and e-mails will have a huge impact. Tell your story and why this legislation needs to be passed now. If possible, visit your MLA as well.

You can Google “MLA BC” to find contact information for your MLA. Click on “Members” on the left, then click on “Contact Information”. There is an alphabetical list of all MLAs. Write your e-mail and press “Send Message”. You can also write every MLA by then pressing “Back”, go down to the next MLA, and press “Send Message”. You do not have to re-write your message. Repeat this until you have written to all the MLAs. MLA Finder will also help you locate who your MLA is.

If we can do this now, we have a chance of getting this bill passed by the end of the spring Legislative sitting!

It is very important you copy your letters or e-mails, if possible, to:
Shirley Bond, Minister of Education - E-mail:

Gordon Campbell, Premier - E-mail: Mailing address: Room 156, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

David Cubberley, NDP Critic for Education - E-mail:

You can also write individually to Hon. Gordon Campbell and Hon. Shirley Bond and copy your MLA and David Cubberley.

This Bill has passed the first reading. When it comes before the Legislature again, a majority vote is needed to allow it to be read for the second time and be debated. If it does not pass this vote, and the Liberal government does not introduce their own bill or legislative amendments that carry the same weight or have the same intentions, the Bill, and our issue, will die in this session. It is up to the Liberal government, and all their MLAs, to make sure a law is passed this spring to protect our children.

Currently, the Minister of Education, Shirley Bond is planning on setting up a taskforce to look at the issue of a policy on anaphylaxis in schools. If the Minister stays with her decision that a taskforce is more appropriate, we do not know what we will get or when we will get it. It could be a very lengthy process.

There is a huge momentum behind this Bill right now. Please help us to get this Bill passed. Let our government officials know that we want this Bill passed NOW!

The position of the Allergy/Asthma Information Association is that we want BC to have a consistent province-wide school policy in place to protect all children with anaphylaxis. We have been working for some time to convince the Minister of Education of this need. We are, therefore, giving our full support to having David Cubberley’s Bill passed in this session of the Legislature and we urge you to do the same.

If passed, this Bill will be an enormous achievement and a huge relief for children and parents of children with anaphylaxis in BC. However, our work will not end there. We will then have to deal with establishing the frequency and quality of training as well as establishing who is accountable in each school. A process will be needed to ensure that training is done in each school, year after year and to ensure that everyone who comes in contact with these children is trained, from bus drivers to teachers to lunch room monitors. We have our work cut out for us. But, getting this Bill passed will be a great starting point.

Hoping that you will lend your support,

Yvonne Rousseau
BC/Yukon Regional Coordinator
Allergy/Asthma Information Association


Author:  KarenOASG [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:03 pm ]
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On March 28, 2007, NDP Critic for Education, David Cubberley introduced the ANAPHYLACTIC STUDENT PROTECTION ACT, 2007 in the BC Legislature. This Bill passed the first reading and now needs a majority vote to allow it to be read for the second time and be debated.

This is exciting and welcome news for the Allergy/Asthma Information Association, as well as for children and parents of children with anaphylaxis in BC. Many of us have lobbied for many years to have plans in place to protect children with anaphylaxis in our schools.

We are very grateful to David Cubberley who introduced this non-partisan Private Member’s Bill and also to Shane Simpson, MLA who read a statement on anaphylaxis to the Legislature on March 27, 2007.

The position of the Allergy/Asthma Information Association is that we want BC to have a consistent province-wide school policy in place to protect all children with anaphylaxis, whether that is achieved through regulation or legislation. We are therefore, giving our full support to having David Cubberley's Bill passed in this session of the Legislature and we urge you to do the same.

If passed, this Bill will be an enormous achievement and a huge relief for children and parents of children with anaphylaxis in BC. However, our work will not end there. We want to do whatever we can to help ensure that there is regular training in all schools as well as accountability. We have our work cut out for us. But, getting this Bill passed will be a great starting point.

For more information contact Yvonne Rousseau, AAIA BC/Yukon Regional Coordinator at or phone 1-877-500-2242.

Author:  aaronsmom [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:31 am ]
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Thank you all for your support. I spoke to Shane Simpson's assistant yesterday and she says they have received lots of corrospondance. Please keep it coming!!!

We have the support of all the NDP MLA's and 2 Liberal MLA's have pledged their support as well, that means we only need the support of 5 more MLA's to get the Bill passed.

This is important for the BC children with LTA's, but the outcome will effect every child with LTA's across Canada (except Ontario where they are protected by law) as well. At every meeting that I have attended every politician has asked me "So what are the other provinces doing?" . If Alberta and BC both establish task forces, that may be the route the other Provinces choose to take. If Ontario and BC both have Legislation, it is more likely that the others will follow suit.

Please let the BC Government know that a task force to examine the issue is not an option. We want Legislation.

Author:  aaronsmom [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:54 am ]
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As I was commenting that it would be better for BC to follow Ontario's lead in having Sabrina's Law, rather than Alberta's model of a task force. I decided I should try to review what Alberta is doing. If you go to the line 3 down from this one: Public Input wanted for Alberta..." you can read about the process they are going through.

It's kind of depressing. Here's a quote from Puffy:

"I was called by Karen Slevinsky (a member of the Anaphylaxis Steering Committee) after I wrote a letter to the Minister of Education requesting that the Anaphylaxis Steering Committee strive to meet or exceed Sabrina's Law with their policy. I had also contacted Sig Schmold, the consultant for this committee asking why there was no one on the committee who deals with anaphylaxis in the schools. The committee has now invited two parents to join. One dealing with anaphylaxis and one who doesn't deal with anphlyaxis. (That still makes 8 that have no idea about anaphylaxis and only 1 who understands!!!). The committee has set new deadlines and is now allowing public input until December 31.

Anyone who can help us by sending letters - please do. The mandate of this committee is to simply to develop policy for dealing with anaphylaxis in the schools. What we need the mandate of this committee to be is to develop a policy that equals or exceeds that of Sabrina's Law. "

Does anyone have an update on what Alberta is doing? The last post was 6 months ago.

Author:  aaronsmom [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:58 am ]
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Please note that it appears that there are no allergists, doctors, or allergy group representatives on the Alberta Anaphylaxis Steering Committee.

It appears that Laurie Harada and Susan Wasserman asked to be included. Does anyone know how the steering committee responded to their request?

Author:  aaronsmom [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:29 am ]
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Do we know anyone who would be sympathetic to our cause who lives in the Fort Langley - Aldergrove area of BC, or who has some connection to it? Perhaps a family member lives there, or you went to school there, etc.

If so, please private message me.

Author:  katec [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:54 am ]
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Since you are working on developing a law similar to ours in Ontario I thought I would let you know of a few problems our board has had with implementation. First, anaphylaxis training is required of all school staff members but the government did not give that mandate for training to the public health units. So each school board has been left on their own to find qualified people to train staff each year and boards have not been given any money to support the training.

Second, there is confusion as to whether supply teachers are required to be trained. Anaphylaxis Canada says yes they should be trained but our board says that they do not have to be. The board claims that the pool of supply teachers changes so often that it would be difficult to keep up with training. I have been negotiating with my board to get training organized for supply teachers. We have requested that only trained supply teachers be called into her classroom but the board turned us down. This is no small issue. Already my daughter has had 6 or 7 supply teachers in her class this year and she only attends half time in SK. Since her allergens are present in the classroom (milk and egg), untrained supply teachers are a huge source of stress for us.

I hope that other provinces can clarify these issues in their legislation. Good luck with all of your work.

Author:  aaronsmom [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:55 am ]
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Here are some ideas for letters if you are not quite sure what to write to the MLA's. A big thank you to :D Cindy Paskey :D for passing them on to me. I have modified what she used in Ontario to fit BC, please feel free to modify them forther to fit what you want to say. You could just pick the ones you that make sense to you, add a few stories of your own, and cut and paste. There are directions on how to contact all the MLA's in BC in less than 1/2 hour a few comments up from this.

You could also print this off and hand it out to people to fax to Premier Gordon Campbell (fax: 250-387-0087), Shirley Bond (fax: 250-387-3200), and David Cubberly (fax: 250-387-4680). They could underline what they like, cross out what they don't etc.

My extended family would have a hard time writing a letter themselves, this approach works well with them.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you why I support Bill M210, Anaphylactic Student Protection Act.

* We care about all the students who attend BC school. This Bill is the best way to keep children with anaphylaxis from having a reaction at school.
* 13,000 kids in BC’s schools system are affected by life threatening allergies. That’s a lot of kids. We need to help them.
* Children do not learn well under stress. Children with anaphylaxis have been shown to have more stress than children with rheumatoid arthritis or who live with physical pain. If we can minimize their stress, this will mean better education for these children.
* Economically, the Bill makes sense. Training has been developed on-line, so it is time and cost effective. The cost a needless death would be much higher.
* The Bill calls for a balanced approach. It does not call for bans of certain foods.
* There is no cure for life threatening allergies, so the only way to protect the children is through education and awareness. It seems like a small thing to ask to protect a life.
* When you think of how many people take the time to learn CPR which takes a whole day, in case someone has a heart attack, it makes sense to try to teach as many people possible to use an auto-injector - it only takes a few minutes. The knowledge will also save lives.
* The Act is based on Sabrina's Law, in Ontario, which was the first legislation of it's kind in the world. Sabrina’s dad and grandparents are BC residents. We want Sabrina’s Law here, too.
* Life threatening allergies are on the rise and the Government needs to act now.
* The Bill would mean that students would be assured that staff have been properly trained to respond to an anaphylactic reaction. Imagine what it is like to be 5 years old while your classmates eat the thing your mom has been telling you must never touch or be near or you will be very, very sick.
* The Bill will decrease the spread of germs such as the cold, as frequent hand washing and not sharing of cups, straws, etc, will be encouraged for all students and staff.
* It will reduce uncertainty for all involved. It must be very hard for a teacher to have the responsibility of a child's health without having access to the information they would need in case of a reaction.
* It puts the child's health needs first. Currently, how well a child is protected is dependant on their parents ability to communicate and the principal's opinion about anaphylaxis.
* In Canada, we value children and we work hard to have an inclusive school setting.
* Consistancy across the Province would mean that parents do not have to retrain staff each year and hope for the best.
* The child will not be made to bear the burden of their disease alone.
* All children will be protected from witnessing a death due to anaphylaxis.
* Staff and students will be protected from inadvertently causing suffering or death.
* The Bill clarifies responsibility of school, parents, and child.
* Parents and children will know what to expect no matter what school district they are in.
* Peace of mind for parents will means they will be more cost effective tax-payers in every aspect of their lives, as life threatening allergies are linked to stress and stress is linked to increased healthcare spending and lost job time.
* The Bill will be relatively easy to implement; the tools necessary have already been developed.
* Being proactive in protecting these children is a better approach than having to be reacionary after a death has occurred.
* If a staff member inadvertantly caused the death of a student, due to lack of education or awareness, as in the case of Sabrina Shannon, they would have to deal with that for the rest of their lives, and it would not have been their fault.
* It will help to protect allergic teenagers, who are the most vulnerable, and yet the least protected, under the current system.
* The Bill will provides uniform emergency response plans.
* Substitute teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, and supervision aides are likely to be the first adults who respond to an anaphylaxtic emergency. The Bill would ensure they can save a life.
* Reduced emergency room visits means decreased burden on our healthcare system.
* Increased awareness and education may help researchers search for a cure.
* Reduced paramedic calls means less healthcare dollars spent.
* An anaphylactic emergency is a traumatic incident for all involved. We need to minimize the risk of such trauma.
* We value diversity and inclusion.
* These children need our support.
* This disease requires co-operation from the greater community. With education and awareness, the non-allergic community will be more willing to help, rather than feel their rights to choose what to eat are being violated.
* Parent Advisory Councils will not have to deal with tension, as the Bill will provide clarity and consistancy.

Please vote for Bill M210.


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