Broaden consultation for Health Canada's Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants recommendations
- Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health; Health Canada
*Update* February 7, 2011
We did it! Thanks so much to all of you who signed and sent comments. Health Canada has agreed to extend the deadline for online consultation to Aprii 15th, 2011.
It’s SO important now to consider the draft document and to respond.
Please also consider a note of thanks to Minister Leona Aglukkaq and to the department for responding and for expanding the consultation process for this very important document.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful as you prepare your submission:
• INFACT Canada has shared their response publicly
• UNICEF Canada has also released its response. It’s not up on their website but it can be found on PhDinParenting’s blog.
This petition page will now be a repository for other online submissions from individuals and organizations who wish to share. Check back often to see what’s new!
There is also a discussion forum – we encourage you to talk to other stakeholders and individuals about your thoughts, share your draft submissions, ask questions and provide information.
I had a telephone conversation with Health Canada and it is clear they very much want to see written submissions through this online process, including specific suggestions around wording. Please know your participation in this online process is meaningful and valued.
We also asked the minister to expand consultation by offering a series of roundtable discussions across the country, something that was done when revising other guidelines such as Canada’s Food Guide and the National Fitness Guidelines.
As a result of our letter, Janet Pronk, Director , Policy & Standard Setting, Health Canada, has committed to, at a minimum, posting the revised draft document before it is final so participants can see how their comments were received and how their suggestions were reflected in the document as well as to provide an opportunity for reaction, further comments and questions of clarification.
Health Canada is clear – they view this process as collaborative.
They have asked for a list of stakeholder groups who wish further consultation.
There is a thread in the forums below for stakeholder groups to put forward their names for participation in a further consultation process, or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may wish to familiarize yourself with the department’s definitions of public consultation terminology. There is also a list of the types of consultation the department undertakes. The department also provides information on their consultation process.
*UPDATE* February 1, 2011 -- This message was received via Twitter late yesterday afternoon from @TimVail, Director of Communications for the Minister of Health Canada: "We will be extending our Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants consultation past this week - more details in the next few days #breastfeeding"
*UPDATE* Jan 31, 2011 -- we have heard from an unofficial source that the department is going to extend the deadline for online consultation to March 6, 2011. Will post details once this is confirmed.
Health Canada has opened up its draft nutritional guidelines for children from birth to six months in an online consultation.
The period of time for response is very short, Feb 3 is the deadline. There are no cross-country consultations or opportunities for input beyond this online consultation.
We are asking Health Canada to extend the deadline for the online consultation and to implement cross-country consultation meetings as they have done recently for revisions to Canada's Food Guide and Canada's Physical Activity Guideline.
(Note: Please indicate your organization or affiliation when you sign.)
We, the undersigned, ask Health Canada to broaden its consultation process to seek more input on proposed revisions to the 2005 recommendations for Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants.
- Insufficient notice: The notice for the current online consultation process, which opened January 6, 2011 and is scheduled to close February 3, 2011, was not sufficient to allow adequate participation.
- Consultation period too short: The consultation period, Jan 6 – Feb 3, 2011, is too short – less than a calendar month and only 20 working days, not enough time to be included on the agendas of organizations who meet monthly.
- No public or stakeholder involvement: There is no opportunity for face-to-face public or stakeholder consultation and there are no members of the public or consumer groups on the expert committee.
We note the online consultation period for revision to the Canada’s Food Guide, also conducted by the Office of Nutritional Policy and Promotion, was longer and that consultation included regional meetings in St. John's, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver.
We also note recent consultations around Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines included a series of one-day roundtable meetings held across the country at eight locations, in addition to online consultation.
We ask Health Canada for:
- consultation meetings held across Canada
- an extension of the online consultation process to April 15, 2011