Canada uses “bird-dogging tactics” to force meeting with health minister

Toronto: #MillionsMissing activists attended their federal health minister’s “meet-and-greet” on Jan. 14th to ask the health minister to respond publicly to their request that she announce Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a biological – and not psychological – illness.
This tactic to pin down an official with a specific question in a public venue is called “bird-dogging.”
Their persistence was rewarded with the health minister agreeing to set up a meeting with the activists to discuss their demands for ME.
The activists, a group of 10, had invited CTV News to broadcast their conversation with federal Health Minister Jane Philpott.
They waited for their turn to speak to the health minister and, with the TV camera rolling, asked her to commit to the following for ME:

  • Announce that ME is a biological – and not psychological – illness.
  • Ensure that physicians start using the Canadian Consensus Criteria for diagnosing patients.
  • Commit to developing a national strategy for ME.

“We explained [to Philpott] that these small gestures would have a profound effect on the lives of those with ME,” said Scott Simpson who organized the event.
In response, Minister Philpott said she receives a lot of requests for National Strategies every week. She would not commit to making a public announcement that ME is biological, Simpson said.
The activists decided that the health minister’s response was not good enough. Simpson got onto a chair, and in a very loud voice said,  “Sorry to interrupt your meet-and-greet but there is something very important that the Canadian public needs to know,” and then he began to tell the room about the government’s neglect of people with ME.
Minister Philpott responded that she would speak with the activists after the meet-and-greet, and then she agreed to set up a meeting with Simpson to discuss their demands for ME.
View the live TV coverage of the event here, and read the press coverage here.
Read more about bird-dogging tactics here. In the U.S., attend a bird-dogging training call on how to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare and Medicaid by registering here.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Email

Latest News

Questions to Ask Prospective MPs About ME/CFS

In the next few weeks, candidates will be knocking on doors seeking votes for the upcoming UK Election. It’s important that candidates from all parties are made aware of the challenges facing people with ME and Long Covid. It can be a little daunting to be unprepared so here are some questions you might want

Read More »
red rectangle with the #MEAction Scotland logo on the left hand side and the words Impact Statement 2022-2023 on the right.

#MEAction Scotland publishes impact statement

#MEAction Scotland is pleased to publish our impact statement, which covers March 2022 to May 23. It reports on our work to campaign for effective support, create stronger advocates and raise awareness. As a small group of volunteers, it’s unfortunately not always possible to continually update on our activities as they happen, so the statement

Read More »
reddish rectangle image with different color stripes of red coming out at a diagonal from the center. In the center is the TeachMETreatME logo. The words celebrating an impactful campaign in white font underneath the logo.

#TeachMETreatME: Celebrating An Impactful Campaign

We are THRILLED to share the rolling successes of our #TeachMETreatME campaign with you, as we report back on the amazing medical education events that have taken place so far – with many more to come in the upcoming months! (And don’t miss the global #MillionsMissing events later in the article!) Over the past several

Read More »
Scroll to Top