Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

A Canadian Precedent

By Dr. Gary Goodyear DC Minister of State (Science and Technology)   

Features Leadership Profession

I am pleased to have this occasion to share, with you, my thoughts on
an important and historic announcement that I had the privilege to make
at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) on June 5, 2009.

I am pleased to have this occasion to share, with you, my thoughts on an important and historic announcement that I had the privilege to make at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) on June 5, 2009.

When I was a practising chiropractor, my top priority was to ensure that patients received the best care possible, and that included making sure that our clinical facilities were up to date and well maintained.

Minister of State (Science and Technology) Dr. Gary Goodyear announces federal funding for CMCC on June 5, 2009.

We are all part of a successful, caring profession, and Doctors of Chiropractic across Canada have been very generous, with their financial support of the college, to offset tuition fees for students, encourage research and invest in capital projects. Up until this point, however, successive federal governments have not supported important infrastructure work at the college.

That all changed this year.

Federal planning in a global recession
In the last 12 months, Canada has been caught up in a global recession. Although our country is in better shape than other Western nations, and is expected to come out of the economic downturn faster than most, our government recognized that we needed to act to stimulate the economy, create jobs and help Canadians weather the global recession.

As part of our consultations leading up to the budget, my colleagues in government and I heard from the presidents of many post-secondary institutions. Their number one request was that we address deferred maintenance on infrastructure of aging facilities that had been neglected by governments for many, many years. We listened and we acted.

One of the important new measures our government put forward as part of our 2009 Economic Action Plan was a new $200 million initiative, called the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, to upgrade research and training facilities at Canada’s colleges and universities. Approximately 30 per cent of the funds under the program are going to support projects at colleges across Canada.

As one of the ministers responsible for the program, and as a former chiropractor and lecturer at the college, I wanted to make sure that CMCC was aware of the opportunity this program presented to them and encourage them to apply for funding.

Government support for CMCC
Last month, I was very proud to return to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and stand with my friend, president Jean Moss, to announce that our government is investing $350,000 to fund two projects at the college. Matching funding from other sources would bring the total commitment to almost $1.2 million.

This investment will help CMCC build diagnostic and procedural simulation learning labs. As a result the college will become the first chiropractic institution in North America to implement modern methods for quantifying safe and effective quality of care skills. They will provide more than 710 students with the advanced training they need, as well as support the work of researchers and faculty.

The second project will allow CMCC to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities and create a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for its more than 1,000 students, patients, faculty and staff. It is expected that the college will be able to reduce its energy consumption by four to six per cent.

These projects are important for improving patient care, and the health of Canadians, but also for stimulating the economy during a difficult time. Our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, believes that strengthening science and technology capacity is crucial for developing highly skilled people and improving our competitiveness as a nation.

This announcement marks the first time the Government of Canada has recognized the important contribution made by chiropractors – by supporting infrastructure at the college – and could represent an important precedent for other world governments to follow with confidence. I was pleased to have the opportunity to support these important projects.

In particular, I want to congratulate Dr. Jean Moss and her team at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College for demonstrating the leadership to bring these projects forward and to help make them a reality. I also want to thank the chiropractic community for continuing to support the college and our students, who will lead our profession into the future. •

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