A Recap of Ontario Bill 88 Section 5
Bill 88 Working for Workers Act, 2022, is meant to be a Bill to create more employment opportunities. However, buried within Bill 88, a schedule (Schedule 5) seeks to repeal the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act, dissolving the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners & Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) whom is our profession's oversight and governing body. This unforeseen de-regulation of health care practice, will allow anyone to practice TCM and acupuncture, claiming that this will create many more jobs for non-English speaking immigrants.
Instead of creating jobs, Bill 88 Schedule 5 allows anyone to perform acupuncture and TCM diagnosis - which poses serious threat to the public. Furthermore, the public will also lose trust in this form of healthcare because it is unregulated. This will result in the elimination the practices of Registered Acupuncturists and Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners across Ontario.
Here is a recap of what had happened, and how our community worked together to solve this crisis:
February 28, 2022 - The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners & Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO), our regulating college, sent a notice to all its members that the government will work to dissolve the college within 18 months of passing Bill 88.
March 1, 2022 - A dedicated group of people formed an emergency coalition to stop Bill 88 Schedule 5 - the repeal of TCM Act. Our president, Mary Wu, was one of the key members of the coalition, working tirelessly to stop Bill 88 from passing.
March 4, 2022 - A press conference organized by the coalition took place, inviting numerous preventatives from key stakeholder groups. All of them voiced their concerns around Bill 88, which will make acupuncture and TCM unsafe for the public.
Mary Wu, president of TSTCM, acting as the moderator of the press conference.
March 7, 2022 - A peaceful protest took place in front of the Ontario Legislative Building in Queen's Park. Hundreds of practitioners, students and supporters showed up, hoping that the government can understand how serious the situation is and take action accordingly.
Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and Mary Wu, President of the Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the peaceful protest on March 7, 2022.
On the same day, the government addresses the public's concerns and officially announces to remove Schedule 5 from Bill 88. After a week of hard work from many people, we successfully stopped the possibly deregulation of TCM and Acupuncture in Ontario.
Throughout the week, Mary Wu, our president, has been interviewed multiple times for her expert opinion. A few key coverages can be referenced here:
CBC - Web Article - March 4, 2022 - Don't scrap college regulating traditional Chinese medicine, critics warn province - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/practitioners-push-back-deregulate-chinese-medicine-1.6371315