Advocacy Update

From the desk of Joyce Barretto and Yvon Trepanier, Co-Chairs, National Advocacy Committee

Parkinson’s issues were front and centre, in early spring, when the federal Standing Committee on Health held hearings to conclude the work of the former Subcommittee on Neurological Diseases that had been suspended due to the 2011 federal election.

  • The committee also heard presentations from:David Simmonds shared his personal experience of living with Parkinson’s and undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery. Describing how Parkinson’s affects families, he pointed to the need for caregiver support.
  • Dr. Galit Kleiner-Fisman, Neurologist and Movement Disorders Specialist at Baycrest in Toronto discussed the value of multidisciplinary integrated care.
  • Joyce Gordon, Parkinson Society Canada President & CEO and Chair of Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) raised the issue of educating front-line health workers and the general public about neurological conditions and expressed the need for better income security and caregiver support.
  • Dr. Bin Hu, Professor, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary;
  • Dr. Edward Fon, Director, McGill Parkinson Program and National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, and Associate Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University; and
  • Dr. Daniel Krewski, Director of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment at the University of Ottawa

who addressed the need for increased investment in neuroscience research and the importance of establishing a consortium of Parkinson’s Centres of Excellence in Canada.

NHCC member witnesses, including Parkinson Society Canada, made reference to NHCC key objectives such as a national brain strategy and the addition of neurological conditions to the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System.

The Standing Committee on Health is expected to table the report on Neurological Diseases, along with reports on Chronic Diseases related to Aging and Canada’s drug shortage, before the House of Commons breaks for its summer recess on June 22, 2012.

World Parkinson Congress 2013

October 1-4, 2013
Montreal, Canada

World Parkinson Congress (WPC) is only 16 months away. Plan to be there. If ever you were going to attend WPC, this is the time to go because it’s happening right here in Canada. You can’t get more accessible than that. Also, Montreal is a fabulous city for a conference with so much to do in its wonderful cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Hundreds of volunteers are already busy at work. There are Canadian reps on most, if not all, of the WPC international committees. The local organizing committee in Montreal is planning many exciting events.

Our WPC ambassadors: Ryan Tripp (Central & Northern Ontario); Yvon Trepanier (Southwest Ontario); and Bob Kuhn (BC) have been spreading the word about the experience of Congress not just in Canada but all over the world. In fact, Bob Kuhn made a round-the-world trip to generate enthusiasm and to meet with as many Parkinson’s organizations as possible on his travels.

The excitement is starting to build. The hotels have been selected. The program will be finalized shortly, with one day devoted to basic science, one day to clinical science and a day to comprehensive care. There will also be a pre-conference policy day for government officials and policy makers.

Come hear the fabulous keynote speakers, get answers from the experts and meet people from around the world who are touched by Parkinson’s.

Visit for more details.

Are you the lucky winner? Find out…

The first Parkinson SuperWalk Early Bird draw was open to all walkers who raised $100 or more online by May 3, 2012. This year, there were 41% more walkers who were eligible for the draw compared to last year.

Thanks so much to the many people who got an early start fundraising for Parkinson SuperWalk. You are helping to raise funds for support services and programs for people with Parkinson’s.

Congratulations to Tammy Taylor of Bracebridge, Ontario, winner of a $500 Roots gift card in the first Early Bird Draw and Tracey Babson, winner of 60” Sharp AQUOS® LCD TV, in the second draw held June 7, 2012!

Tammy, who has lived with Parkinson’s for 10 years, participates in Parkinson SuperWalk because Parkinson’s is a cause that will forever touch her family. Diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s at age 32, Tammy is joined each year at Parkinson SuperWalk by her husband Shawn and their two children. It’s a chance for the whole family to come together to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. In addition to supporting Parkinson Society Canada, Tammy enjoys keeping active in a variety of ways, especially doing hip hop and tap dance classes.

Tracey, a new walker, will participate in Mississauga (Central & Northern Ontario) this September in honour of her father, diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago.

Join Tammy Taylor and Tracey Babson. Our Canada-wide goal is to raise $3 million by SuperWalk weekend in September. So far, we have raised more than $90,000 online. Let’s keep that momentum going!

For more information on Parkinson SuperWalk, visit our website at or call us at 1-800-565-3000