Saturday, June 30, 2012

CTV News' Craig Oliver Named to the Order of Canada

photo credit: CTV News congratulates Craig Oliver
on being named to the Order of Canada today. (CNW Group/CTV News)

Veteran journalist and Chief Political Correspondent for CTV News
saluted for lifetime of outstanding achievement and service to the nation

TORONTO, June 29, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - CTV News congratulates Craig Oliver on being named to the Order of Canada today. The Order of Canada is one of Canada's highest civilian honours and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement and service to the nation.

"On behalf of everyone from CTV News, I'd like to congratulate Craig Oliver on this tremendous honour," said Wendy Freeman, President, CTV News. "Craig has done so much for the CTV News division and for so many Canadians outside of our news family. He has continually demonstrated excellence in his work, while serving as a mentor for young journalists and selflessly giving his time to philanthropic causes. He has covered and reported on the major political events and newsmakers of many generations with passion and hard work, for the benefit of all Canadians. We at CTV News are thrilled to see Craig saluted for his lifetime of outstanding achievement and contributions to the country."

Oliver, who is legally blind, celebrated his 70th birthday by hosting a fundraiser for the Ottawa Eye Institute raising more than $100,000. For decades he has worked tirelessly to support the visually impaired community. His work includes sharing his expertise with various services including the CNIB and the Ottawa Eye institute.

Every newshound interested in the intricacies of Canadian politics has at one time tuned in to hear the reports of Craig Oliver. His remarkable 56-year career has taken him across the country and around the globe to cover Canadian, U.S. and world news. During his 15-year tenure as host of Canada's landmark political program, QUESTION PERIOD, his unique style of interviewing Canadian newsmakers and members of government have made him one of the country's most respected and recognized journalists. He has reported on the major political figures and news stories of our times with passion, insight and bracing candour.

In 2011, Oliver published Oliver's Twist: The Life and Times of an Unapologetic Newshound. His many-layered memoir recounts an extraordinary professional and personal life, where a chance summer job with the local CBC station launched his broadcasting career, taking Oliver from Prince Rupert, B.C. to Ottawa, Washington, Central America and reporting from capitals around the world.

The depth of Oliver's experience is evident in the many awards he has been given by his peers over his career. He has known and covered 10 Canadian Prime Ministers and been involved in every Canadian federal election campaign since 1957 when he chased John Diefenbaker down the streets of Prince Rupert. During his time as CTV Washington bureau chief, Oliver reported on the Ronald Reagan years, covered U.S. election campaigns and the Reagan-Gorbachev summits that ended the cold war.

From his first days in the radio booth at CBC Radio in Prince Rupert, B.C. at the tender age of 18, to corridors of Parliament Hill, Oliver has covered it all. He got his start in broadcasting at CBC Radio in 1957, cutting his teeth covering news from the Prairies. He moved up the ranks and across the country from Prince Rupert to Regina to Winnipeg and finally landing in Toronto as the Executive Producer of Regional News for CBC.

Oliver took his first assignment with CTV in 1972. He served as Ottawa bureau chief for a span of almost 20 years, was CTV's correspondent in Washington from 1979 - 88, held the post of Director of News and Current Affairs from 1973 - 76, and produced Canada AM's inaugural live broadcasts in 1973.

Craig Oliver was born in Vancouver, B.C. and spent his teen years living in Prince Rupert, B.C. Oliver studied English and history at the University of Regina, then called Regina College and at the University of Winnipeg. In June 2009, the University of Regina presented Oliver with an honorary doctorate of laws. Oliver is on the advisory board of Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.

CTV, Canada's Olympic Network, is also Canada's largest private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV is Canada's most-watched television network and lead broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympic Games. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network's website at

Friday, June 29, 2012

CIBC Poll: School's Out - Canadians Spending $1,700 on Average for Vacations This Summer

Most Canadians are vacationing within Canada, and are planning to use debit and credit to pay for purchases on the road

TORONTO, June 29, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll conducted by Leger Marketing shows that 55 per cent of Canadians surveyed are planning to take a vacation this summer, spending $1700 on average to enjoy some time away from home. Most are vacationing somewhere within Canada, and the majority will be using either their debit card or credit card to pay for purchases away from home.

Key findings of the poll include:

...55 per cent of Canadians surveyed are taking a vacation this summer.

Among these Canadians:

...They are planning to spend an average of $1,728 on their vacation plans for July/August
...74 per cent are planning a trip within Canada
...24 per cent are visiting the U.S.
...9 per cent are travelling outside of North America*

...Albertans surveyed have the biggest travel budgets this summer, averaging $2,270.
...Residents of Quebec were planning to spend only $1,321 on average, among the lowest in the country.
...A large majority of Canadians surveyed (78 per cent) have planned ahead and saved the money they need to pay for their summer vacation.

"It is great to see that so many Canadians are planning to explore Canada this summer by spending their vacation dollars here at home," said Colette Delaney, Executive Vice-President, CIBC. "These results show that many Canadians have planned ahead for the costs associated with taking a vacation this summer, which allows them to enjoy their holiday knowing they've budgeted for the trip ahead of time."

The poll also revealed:

...Canadian prefer to pay for things with credit and debit cards when they are on vacation, not cash:
...Collectively, 78 per cent of Canadians surveyed who have travel plans this summer are going to use either their debit or credit card to make purchases while on the road (51 per cent credit, 26 per cent debit)
...Only 21 per cent will be using cash

"Your debit and credit card offer greater security than travelling with cash, and offer unique benefits to help you make the most of your vacation" added Ms. Delaney. "From valuable insurance coverage and travel benefits on your credit card, to the option to pay right away with money from your chequing account using a debit card, it makes sense to use both when on vacation this summer."

Interestingly, the likelihood of Canadians using their debit card drops significantly once they cross the border. Among the travelers surveyed who are staying within Canada, 30 per cent said they would use their debit card as their primary means of making purchases while on vacation. That drops substantially among those travelling outside Canada (12 per cent).

"Some Canadians may assume they can't pay by debit outside of Canada, but with options like the CIBC Advantage Debit Card, Canadians have the opportunity of paying from their bank account where Visa is accepted," added Ms. Delaney. "It's one more option for Canadians to pay for purchases when they are travelling, especially for those who already prefer to pay by debit here in Canada."

The CIBC Advantage Debit Card can be used to securely pay for purchases directly from your CIBC account as well as for all your day-to-day banking. With this debit card you can shop in Canada as you always have with INTERAC Debit. In addition, with the added benefit of Visa Debit, you can shop in stores around the world, as well as at participating retailers online, over the phone, or by mail.

CIBC Offers Top 4 Tips For Summer Travelers

Ms. Delaney offered these tips for summer travelers:

1. Set a budget and stick to it for your summer vacation

Have funds set aside that you can use to pay for vacation related expenses. If you are planning to use your credit card, use free budgeting tools such as CIBC CreditSmart - which allows you to set customized budgets and receive spend alerts if you exceed your planned budget for spending, helping you stay on top of your vacation budget.

2. Ensure you have choice when paying for vacation expenses

Travel with both a debit and credit card to ensure you can take advantage of the features of both. With debit cards you can pay for purchases directly from your bank account. A credit card could be used for purchases you may wish to pay for when you get back. Both are more secure than cash.

3. Be aware of what your cards can offer you at no added cost

Many credit cards offer travel insurance that will help you deal with unexpected travel emergencies or illnesses. Travel insurance on some cards can even save you money. For example, some cards offer Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance at no cost - which can reduce the cost of renting a car this summer.

4. Use loyalty rewards to help pay for your vacation

CIBC clients can earn loyalty points to help pay for hotels, rental cars, flights, merchandise and other travel expenses. Be sure to look into what your cards can offer you.

For more information and tips, visit the CIBC Advice Centre.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lung Disease: Leading Health Concern in Ontario Often Underdiagnosed

A simple breathing test called spirometry could fast track diagnosis, improve treatment and save lives

TORONTO, June 26, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Leading up to World Spirometry Day, June 27, Ontario Lung Association and Women's College Hospital are promoting a simple, but underused diagnostic tool called spirometry. Spirometry can be done in a physician's office or clinic, and is an easy and effective tool to help diagnose asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

According to the Ontario Lung Association, more than 2 million people in Ontario have a serious lung disease such as asthma and COPD, i and could benefit from earlier diagnosis.

"The earlier we are able to accurately diagnose lung disease in a patient, the more treatment options we have to offer," says Dr. Anna Day, Respirologist at Toronto's Women's College Hospital. "Too often we see patients with advanced lung disease because spirometry was not available to them. This simple test could dramatically improve patients' clinical outcomes and quality of life."

To mark World Spirometry Day, Women's College Hospital, supported by the Ontario Lung Association, is presenting a series of interactive information sessions for health-care providers covering topics such as spirometry indication and utilization, as well as interpretation.

To see a spirometry demonstration, view this Ontario Lung Association video...

"Spirometry is a simple breathing test that can be done in a physician's office or clinic to help diagnose COPD," says Carole Madeley, RRT, Director Respiratory Health Programs, Ontario Lung Association. "Patients are asked to take in a big breath, and then blow as hard and long as they can into a machine. The machine measures how much air they can blow out from their lungs and how fast they can blow it out."

In its 2011 research report, Your Lungs, Your Life: Insight and Solutions into Lung Health in Ontario, The Lung Association identified spirometry as one of the leading interventions that could be easily implemented more widely across the province, affecting considerable improvements for both patients and the Ontario economy. The report shows that if all Ontarians at risk or suspected of having COPD had access to a spirometry test, in 10 years there would be significantly fewer people living with the disease, saving the province more than $2.6 billion in health and related costs.

About the Ontario Lung Association

The Lung Association is a registered charity that provides information, education and funding for research to improve lung health. The organization focuses on the prevention and control of asthma, chronic lung disease, tobacco control as well as healthy air and the effects of pollution on lung health. For information on lung health, call 1-888-344-LUNG (5864), which is staffed by certified respiratory educators, or visit You can also follow it on Twitter @OntarioLung and Facebook.

About Women's College Hospital

For more than 100 years, Women's College Hospital has been dedicated to groundbreaking advances in the health of women. Women's College Hospital collaborated in the invention of the Pap test, opened Ontario's first regional Sexual Assault Care Centre and was the first hospital in the province to use mammography. Today Women's College Hospital is Ontario's preeminent ambulatory care centre and is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto focused on state-of-the-art care, research and education. Women's College Research Institute is the only one in a Canadian hospital devoted to women's health and innovations in ambulatory care.

For more information about Women's College Hospital or the Research Institute, visit

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dr. Robert Thirsk Appointed in New Position of Vice-President, Public, Government and Institute Affairs at CIHR

The physician, engineer and former Canadian Space Agency Astronaut brings a wealth of knowledge, as well as experience to his new post

OTTAWA, June 21, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert Thirsk to the position of Vice-President, Public, Government and Institute Affairs effective Monday, August 13, 2012.

Dr. Thirsk holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University, and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was selected for the Canadian Astronaut Program in 1983 and has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency's astronaut corps.

Dr. Thirsk served as crew commander of two space mission simulations, including an eleven day undersea mission off of Key Largo, Florida. In 1996, he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia with six international crewmates as part of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission. This 17-day mission was devoted to the study of life and materials sciences, including experiments that investigated changes in plants, animals and humans under space flight conditions. In 2009, he launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and became the first Canadian astronaut to complete a long duration expedition aboard the International Space Station. As a member of the ISS Expedition 20/21 crew, he and his international crewmates performed multidisciplinary research, robotic operations, maintenance and repair work of Station systems and payloads. During his career, Dr. Thirsk has performed hundreds of medical and scientific experiments resulting in an impressive publication record.

"We are honoured to welcome Dr. Thirsk to the CIHR leadership team," said Dr. Beaudet. "Throughout his career, Dr. Thirsk has been a pioneer, an inspiration and a role model to Canadians of all ages by encouraging them to follow their dreams, and instilling in them the importance of scientific research. His strengths and proven leadership make him the ideal candidate to lead our new stakeholder engagement and external relations efforts with public and private sector partners."

In the newly created position of Vice-President, Public, Government and Institute Affairs, Dr. Thirsk will provide CIHR with expert advice on all matters related to strategic relations, public and private sector partnerships, communication and public outreach. In this role, he will also be a key player in supporting the Institutes to fulfill their respective mandates. He will ensure that CIHR's strategic relations and partnerships promote the advancement of health research and the strengthening of our health care system. Finally, as a member of Science Council, he will participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of CIHR's research and knowledge translation strategies.

Dr. Thirsk, a native of New Westminster, British Columbia, will receive the 2012 Order of British Columbia in September.

About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blueprint for a National, Integrated Organs and Tissues System Released

Call to Action recommends fundamental system change for Canadians

OTTAWA, June 20, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadian Blood Services today released Call to Action, a blueprint for the national strategy on organ and tissue donation and transplantation developed on behalf of the OTDT community in Canada. Call to Action is an integrated, cost-shared plan that identifies gaps in the current Canadian system and provides a set of 25 recommendations focused on sustained, breakthrough performance in this country.

In 2008, the federal, provincial and territorial ministries of health (except Québec) recognized the need for a national strategy to address the problems with organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) in Canada, and directed Canadian Blood Services to work with the OTDT community to develop a plan that better serves Canadian patients and significantly improves on past performance. After extensive consultations, Call to Action was submitted to governments in April 2011.

At the report's core are strategies that help provinces achieve together what they cannot achieve alone, including key recommendations that experts say will lead to breakthrough performance. Critical gains in accountability, reduction in transplant wait times, and better patient outcomes with more lives saved and/or improved are some of the benefits Canadians can expect from a new system.

"Governments are continuing their leadership with an ongoing commitment to work together to solve the problems with the OTDT system," said Canadian Blood Services Chair Leah Hollins. "The integrated, national strategy laid out in Call to Action is well aligned with the vision the country's premiers and other healthcare leaders have been discussing and acting on since the Council of Federation meeting in Victoria earlier this year. Call to Action recommendations highlight how a national system will not only save and improve more lives, but also provide more value for precious healthcare dollars."

"Governments have already seen the immediate benefits of cross-jurisdictional integration over the past four years since asking Canadian Blood Services to implement change, not just make recommendations," said Dr. Graham Sher, Canadian Blood Services Chief Executive Officer. "Call to Action is the voice of the OTDT community in Canada. It is a strategy that leverages existing successes, strengths, and investments in the system, and paves the way for the collaboration, coordination, and clear accountability needed for Canada to truly reach its potential."

For the past year, Canadian Blood Services has been assisting governments as they review Call to Action recommendations and determine what they could mean for provincial health care systems. Having completed this first stage of analysis, governments have asked Canadian Blood Services to develop detailed implementation plans for consideration of a phased approach - one that reflects the unique jurisdictional requirements and fiscal challenges of individual provinces. These plans will be developed with governments over the coming months.

To view the report, visit or

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

Follow us on Twitter @itsinyoutogive, visit our official Facebook page at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Celebrates 100 Year by Raising $1,000,000 for Alzheimer's Research

Owners put 1924 private rail car with a Royal heritage back on the tracks to commemorate anniversary and help raise funds for a cure

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, June 14, 2012 - One of Canada's most successful family-owned companies is putting one of Canada's last private rail cars on the tracks to help raise $1 million dollars for research into finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Inc. has launched the Mother Parkers Remembers Campaign to commemorate the company's 100th anniversary. As part of the campaign, the company's owners have put their family's historic 1924 rail car back into service to help raise awareness of the need for more research into finding a cure. Today, more than 500,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and hundreds of thousands of family members who care for them are also impacted by the devastating illness.

"Very few family-owned companies in Canada last for 100 years," noted Paul Higgins Jr., Co-Chief Executive Officer. "Much of the success of Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee can be attributed to our father, Paul Higgins Sr., who led the business throughts greatest period of growth. Using our centennial anniversary to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease that afflicted him in his later years is a fitting tribute to our father's courage and the success of the company that he was so passionate about."

Mother Parkers traces its humble beginnings to 1912 as Higgins & Burke Ltd., a wholesale grocery distributor located on Front St. in Toronto. In 1972, Paul Higgins Sr. purchased the Pacific, one of the last private rail cars in Canada built by Canadian National Railway in 1924. The Pacific is a spectacular piece of our Canadian heritage. It was used by King George VI and the Queen Mother during the 1939 Royal Tour of Canada and again in 1951 when Queen Elizabeth (then a Princess) graced our country for the first time. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker toured in with the Pacific during his successful 1957 election campaign. Over the years, the rail car was used by Mother Parkers for business travel and hosting customers. Although it has been restored and upgraded, the Pacific retains the original layout and design and many of the original fixtures.

“The Pacific rail car is a part of Canadian history and the history of our family business,” added Michael Higgins, Co-Chief Executive Officer. “We are very proud of our company’s achievements and of the many Mother Parkers employees, customers and suppliers who have helped us reach 100 years in business. Now it is our turn to give back. We hope that our fundraising for the Alzheimer Society will have a lasting benefit for the next generation of Canadians.”

As part of the Mother Parkers Remembers Campaign, trips and catered meals on the Pacific rail car will be offered to individuals and groups that make a significant donation to the Alzheimer Society between June and October, 2012. Contributions will directly benefit the Society’s national research program.

“An additional $1 million in research funding from the Mother Parkers Remembers Campaign will help the Alzheimer Society directly fund up to eight research projects that are breaking new ground in the causes, treatment and prevention of dementia. This funding will help fast track a cure and give greater hope to Canadians living with this disease” said Naguib Gouda, Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer Society of Canada.

More information about Alzheimer’s research, the Mother Parkers Remembers fundraising campaign, and the Pacific’s planned itinerary to cities in Ontario and Quebec can be found at

About Mother Parkers:

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee is a family-owned Canadian company and one of the largest private label coffee and tea manufacturers in North America. The Company also manufactures and markets its own brands under the Higgins & Burke, Mother Parkers, Brown Gold, and Martinson labels and has recently entered the single-serve market with their RealCup brand of hot beverage capsules. Established in 1912, Mother Parkers combines technology and new product innovation with years of experience to deliver a better beverage experience in mainstream and specialty coffee, tea and complimentary beverages.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

David Mirvish Installed as University of Guelph's Chancellor

GUELPH, Ontario June 13, 2012 - University of Guelph News Release - David Mirvish, a Canadian theatre producer, art collector and lifelong arts supporter, was installed today as chancellor of the University of Guelph.

He is the eighth person to hold the position since the University’s founding in 1964.

He was installed by president Alastair Summerlee, on behalf of the University’s Senate, during convocation ceremonies for the College of Arts. The event was attended by government officials; representatives of the Council of Ontario Universities, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and other Canadian universities; and members of U of G’s Board of Governors.

Summerlee described Mirvish as a cultural icon and visionary leader well-suited to be at U of G’s helm.

“Guelph is known for its creativity and engaged inquiry," said Summerlee. "It’s the perfect place for a leader known for his passion, imagination and devotion to artistic discovery and new ideas.”

During his convocation address to graduating students, Mirvish said being named U of G’s chancellor was “an honour and a privilege.” He said he was drawn by the challenge of continuing to learn new things and by the qualities that distinguish U of G:

“I am proud to become a member of a university community that is making a difference in the world,” he said. “I look forward to getting to know the students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to being an ambassador for Guelph’s people, ideas and innovations.”

He encouraged students to take pride in what they have learned and accomplished.

“While you will be faced with challenges going forward, because of your experiences here at this university, I believe you will be successful in meeting those challenges.”

He added: “With some knowledge, we are brave enough to attempt what people with too much knowledge fear to do…do not fear failure. I do not believe that anyone who has ever succeeded has not experienced failure along the way.”

As chancellor, Mirvish will preside at convocation ceremonies, confer all University degrees and act as an ambassador. As the University’s senior volunteer, he will represent its interests to all government levels.

A longtime arts patron, Mirvish is an internationally renowned collector of modern art, and a supporter and developer of Canadian theatre productions and emerging visual artists.

He owns and operates Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon Theatre) and Panasonic Theatre. He also operated the renowned Old Vic theatre in London, England.

Mirvish ran David Mirvish Gallery, which supported contemporary art and Canadian artists, and operated an art bookstore for 38 years. He is the son of the late Ed Mirvish, a Toronto businessman and arts patron, and artist Anne Lazare Macklin.

He has been named to the Order of Ontario and to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, and has received honorary degrees from several universities. He has served as a trustee of the National Gallery of Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Guelph’s former chancellors and their years of service are:

...Pamela Wallin, journalist, diplomat and entrepreneur, 2007-11;
...Lincoln Alexander, former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, 1991-2007;
...Edmund Bovey, past president of the Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989-1990;
...William Stewart, former Ontario minister of agriculture, 1983-89;
...Pauline McGibbon, former Ontario lieutenant-governor, 1977-83;
...Emmett Hall, former member of the Supreme Court of Canada, 1971-77; and
...George Drew, former mayor of Guelph, premier of Ontario and Canadian high commissioner, 1965-71.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer will continue multiple start, finish and route choices for 2013 Toronto event

2012 Ride set fundraising and participation records in Canada
and benefits The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation

TORONTO, June 10, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer announced the 2013 Ride will include multiple start, finish and route choices between Toronto and Niagara Falls after this year's event drew 4,852 participants who raised $18.1 million. The 2012 event set fundraising and participation records, as dollars raised support the creation and implementation of Personalized Cancer Medicine at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

"This has been an absolutely incredible and insightful weekend," said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

"Our 5th annual Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer has been record-breaking, and our decision to offer multiple starts, finishes and routes between Toronto and Niagara Falls for the first time has been well-received by Riders. Additionally, we've gained some incredible leanings to build on this success in 2013. In fact, we're already seeing strong numbers of Riders signing up now for next year's event," Alofs added.

For the first time in The Ride's five-year history, the event start, finish and opening ceremonies took place in two locations: Toronto and Niagara Falls. Moments before the start, Alofs and event organizers addressed thousands of participants simultaneously in both Toronto and Niagara Falls, and shared the total number of participants and funds raised for the 2012 event.

This year participants could select from six different routes between Toronto and Niagara Falls with an overnight campsite at Mohawk College in Hamilton. From start to finish, each Rider cycled over 200km along roads through the countryside of Ontario.

"I have taken part in The Ride for four years and this year has been particularly exciting as we celebrate the fifth annual event with participants cycling on different routes, but for one cause," says Rob McColm from Oakville.

"I have seen first-hand the difference that research has made at The Princess Margaret. They saved my life four years ago and my wife's life this year. I look forward to this event every year and will definitely be back in 2013," McColm added.

Now commencing for the 6th consecutive year, The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer remains the largest cycling fundraiser in Canadian history, having raised over $80.2 million for The Princess Margaret, and $149.3 million for cancer institutes across Canada. The annual event draws tens of thousands of participants from across the nation and brings together communities of survivors, cyclists and supporters who train and fundraise for months to participate in The Ride.

"We are making great strides in our mission to conquer cancer in our lifetime. Yet, on average, everyday, almost 500 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and more than 200 Canadians will die from cancer," says Dr. Benjamin Neel, Director of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at The Princess Margaret.

"While we celebrate the tremendous success of this year's event, we still have much more to do to conquer cancer. Funds raised from this year's event are being put to use to fund Personalized Cancer Medicine and the people who run the efforts at The Princess Margaret, and help improve and save lives every day," Dr. Neel added.

Ride organizers introduced additional components this year including Gold Helmets to designate Riders who have participated in all five annual Rides since 2008, SUGOi black & white "polka-dot" jerseys for the first ten participants to reach $15K in fundraising and gold pins, which indicate cancer survivors. Survivors are also designated en route with a yellow flag affixed to their bike.

"I wore my Golden Helmet proudly, as it's been a privilege to take part in The Ride for the past five years to make a personal difference in the battle to conquer cancer," says Chinyere Eni from Toronto.

"As a child, I lost my leg to cancer, but I survived. I have taken part in The Ride for the past five years to fight for all those who are currently in their battle and the belief that one day, cancer will be conquered," Eni added.

Monday, June 4, 2012

University of Guelph - President’s Dialogues to Focus on Global Hunger, Climate Change

GUELPH, Ontario June 04, 2012 - University of Guelph News Release

Leading thinkers will tackle two of the most challenging, intertwined issues facing the world today — feeding the planet and climate change — during the 2012 President’s Dialogues at the University of Guelph June 13 and 14.

Both free public forums will mark summer convocation and the 150th anniversary of the Ontario Veterinary College. They will feature leading international activists and political figures, including environmentalist and scientist David Suzuki and animal psychologist Stanley Coren.

“Feeding the Planet: Critical Links between Human and Animal Health” will be held June 13 from 10 a.m. to noon in Rozanski Hall. The session will explore interdisciplinary approaches to improving public health and food security while empowering communities for lasting change.

“Most people now recognize that food is not just about feeding people,” Summerlee said. “While world hunger is a huge issue, it’s only part of the global food challenge. We need new ways of thinking and new approaches to sharing knowledge such as this forum.”

The dialogue will feature Stanley Coren, a psychology professor, neuropsychological researcher and bestselling author of books on the intelligence and history of dogs; George Cohon, founder of McDonald’s restaurants in Canada and Russia, and a philanthropist and humanitarian; Ian Dohoo, a veterinary epidemiologist and founding member of the Atlantic Veterinary College; Motilal Madan, global veterinarian renowned for efforts to better lives and the environment in India; and John McDermott, an advocate for use of livestock to improve lives in developing countries.

The “Climate Change: Debate, Dilemma, Death?” dialogue will be held June 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Rozanski Hall. Both events will be streamed for live viewing on the Internet; participants will take questions from live and web audiences.

“During the last decade, there has been an astonishing increase in public awareness of climate change and its implications for the survival of the planet,” Summerlee said.

Search for “climate change” on the Internet, and you get more than four million hits in 22 seconds, he said. “In the face of such overwhelming information, how do we even begin to understand such a complex and controversial issue? There are no easy answers as we -- as a country and as a world -- debate the issues. This dialogue provides an opportunity for scientists, advocates and inventors to join with the public to discuss the implications for all of us, individually and as a global community.”

The forum will feature David Suzuki, renowned geneticist and science advocate, and former host of CBC TV’s The Nature of Things; Ron Dembo, founder and CEO of Zerofootprint; Barry Smit, a U of G professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Change; Paul Kovacs, president of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction; and Sherolyn Vettese, president and inventor of Wind Simplicity Inc.

Summerlee began the President’s Dialogue in 2006 to bring leading experts to U of G during convocation ceremonies to discuss important contemporary issues.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ontario clinicians transitioning to electronic medical records to receive mentorship from peers

TORONTO, May 31, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Supporting clinicians to enhance the effective use and integration of technology in clinical practice is the objective of a new initiative launched by OntarioMD, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) and Canada Health Infoway (Infoway).

The program follows an increased demand for EMRs in Ontario. Some 5,000 health care providers have signed up to implement one in the last two years alone.

"The clinical value associated with electronic medical record (EMR) systems is attracting large numbers of health care providers to adopt these tools," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "Ontario's Peer Leader Support Network engages clinicians who are transitioning to electronic systems with peers who have gone through the process to share lessons learned, give advice, and provide leadership and support."

As part of Infoway's clinical engagement strategy, which connects physicians, pharmacists and nurses, the pan-Canadian Clinician Peer Leader Support Network Program enables experienced peer leaders to work closely with their colleagues to help them achieve clinical value through practice and process changes during and after the adoption process.

Ontario's Peer Leader Support Network Project will foster support and mentorship to approximately 21,000 family physicians, specialists, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners and clinic managers learning to use EMRs throughout Ontario.

"Expanding the Peer Leader Program to include Nurses and Nurse Practitioners, along with Physicians and Clinic Managers in the Peer Leader team will further enhance the clinical adoption and use of EMRs in Ontario," says Brian Forster, CEO of OntarioMD.

"I want to applaud Canada Health Infoway for supporting this important collaboration between RNAO and OntarioMD. Engaging nurses along with family practice physicians and other health-care professionals will help us achieve greater adoption of electronic health records and will be of tremendous benefit to our patients," says Irmajean Bajnok, director of RNAO's Best Practice Guidelines program and leader of this initiative.

About Canada Health Infoway

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

About OntarioMD

OntarioMD is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association and is funded by eHealth Ontario to work with and on behalf of physicians to leverage health information technology to meet the growing needs of patients and physicians.

OntarioMD manages Ontario's EMR Adoption Program that supports physicians throughout their transition from paper based records to electronic medical records. Support is available from the point of initial consideration through to applying for funding, selecting an EMR and optimizing patient care and practice management benefits EMRs facilitate. A team of Practice Advisors and Peer Leaders are available to help every step of the way through personal engagements, workshops and seminars. To help inform the decision making process, physicians also have access to EMR transition support tools such as the online transition support guide, peer experience videos and

About RNAO

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.